Parental Oral Health Knowledge, Attitude, Practice and Caries Status of Sudanese Cerebral Palsy Children

Background: Cerebral palsy (CP) is a set of nonprogressive neuromuscular disorders due to defects in the developing fetal brain, this group of children at risk of dental caries and gingival diseases owing to dietary factors, poor oral hygiene, lack of parental knowledge concerning oral hygiene and problems related to dental management. The study aimed to assess the parental knowledge, attitude and practices of the oral health and caries status of the Sudanese Cerebral Palsy children.

Methods: A cross sectional hospital based study for 123 cerebral palsy children, mean age 6.58 years at Khartoum state. Data regarding the parent oral health knowledge, attitude and practice were collected by face to face interview questionnaires and the caries status was assessed using (dmft/DMFT).

Results: The majority of parents 90.2% think that good dental health is important for optimum general health, 81.3% of the children never visited dentist and whose visited dentist 95.7% due to dental problems, 60.2% heard about fluoride, 43.9% though that chocolate, backer products and soft drink cause tooth decay, 40.7% said that media is main source for oral health information. 50.4% of them responded that they can maintain a good oral health to their children. A statistically highly significant association (P=0.002) was found between mother education level and hearing about fluoride. The DMFT, MFT for primary and permanent teeth was 3.6 ± 4.64 and 2.0 ± 2.90 respectively. No significant association between age and DMFT (P=0.000). The caries prevalence in primary and permanent teeth was 57.4% and 46.3% respectively, there was significant association between knowledge level and DMFT in permanent teeth (P=0.037).

Conclusion: Children with cerebral palsy had high caries prevalence and parent’s knowledge of oral health was satisfactory concerned supervision of teeth brushing and the role of oral health to the general health of their children, although it was not applying to their daily practices.

Author(s): Hadeya M Hamid and Amal H Abuaffan

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