Oral health attitudes and caries-preventive behaviour of Czech parents of preschool children

Erika Lenčová, Jana Dušková


Objective. To characterize the oral health-related attitudes and behaviour of Czech parents of preschool children. Materials and methods. A representative sample of 796 parents was recruited for the crosssectional questionnaire survey. Study data were collected using a validated questionnaire with 44 attitudinal items related to different aspects of caries prevention. The data were analyzed by explorative factor analysis, extracted factors were subjected to reliability analysis and Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA was used to test differences in the factor scores in respondents with different levels of education and selfperceived SES. Results. The factor analysis extracted 3 factors, labelled ”Toothbrushing – perceived significance and parental efficacy”; ”External caries control” and ”Internal caries control”. They explained 28.9% of the data variability. The comparison of the factor scores in groups with different SES and education of mothers showed highly significant differences. For all three factors, median values of the aggregated Likert scale increased with increasing SES and education of the mother. Conclusion. The parents report that they are aware of their responsibility for the prevention of tooth decay in their children. In caries prevention they concentrate on toothbrushing. Dietary measures do not seem to be of similar importance to them. The increasing self-perceived SES of the family and the education level of the mother have a significantly positive effect on the caries-preventive attitudes of the parents. Based on the study results, the message to the publichealth sector in the Czech Republic should include the need to highlight the importance of a non-cariogenic diet and the role of fluorides in caries prevention.


Childhood caries; Oral health-related attitudes; Questionnaire survey; Socio-economic status.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5644/ama2006-124.88


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