To evaluate and compare baseline knowledge between Italian and Spanish parents with regards to the oral and dental health of their preschool children.
Study design epidemiological descriptive observational cross-sectional study.
The research data was collected through an anonymous bilingual survey, generated through Google Forms and distributed either in paper form or through several digital channels together with a QR code to drive the participants to the questionnaire. In order to assess the differences between Italy and Spain, t-Student (with confidence interval) or Mann-Whitney tests were used to compare the independent numerical variables, and the Chi-Square test was used to compare the independent categorical variables.
A total sample of 507 surveys was obtained, 253 filled by Italian and 254 by Spanish parents. The difference in the level of knowledge between Italian and Spanish parents was statistically significant (p= 0.001). Spanish parents obtained a higher rate (67%, SD= 4.47) as compared to the Italian ones (62%, SD= 3.90). Also, 54.5% of Italian parents and 44% Spanish parents reported that they had never received instructions on how to brush their children’s teeth. It was found that 56% of parents in Italy, and 40% in Spain had never taken their preschool children to the dentist. Additionally, 77% of Italian preschoolers and 54% of their Spanish counterparts brush with a toothpaste containing less than 1000 ppm fluoride and, approximately 28% of Italian and Spanish parents did not start brushing their childrens’ teeth until the complete eruption of their deciduous teeth (approximately 2.5–3 years).
Independently of the differences identified among the two countries, the results show that parents from both nationalities have limited knowledge about their preschool children’s oral health and are not fully informed about child’s oral hygiene practices.
Vol.23 – n.3/2022
Harvard: A. Vallés, C. Lluch, C. Munné, A. Veloso, L. Paglia, F. Guinot (2022) "Comparison of knowledge between Italian and Spanish parents about the oral health of their preschool children", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 23(3), pp194-200. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2022.23.03.05
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