Tooth brushing in pre-school children: An indian perspective of parental challenges

Sonia Sivadas, Ashwin Rao, Arathi Rao, Karuna Ym, Anupama Nayak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: A number of barriers to oral hygiene maintenance of children by parents have been reported in the literature. It is important to identify barriers faced by the parents in each individual child and give them customized solutions relevant to the Indian Scenario. Aims: To unveil the challenges faced by the parents regarding tooth brushing of their preschool child in Mangalore city and to evaluate the awareness of parents to prevailing tooth brushing recommendations. Settings and Design: Cross sectional Questionnaire study. Method and Materials: The parents of the preschool children were asked to complete a pre-tested and validated questionnaire evaluating the problems faced by the parent during routine tooth brushing and assessing the knowledge of the parent regarding newer tooth brushing recommendations. Statistical analysis used: The obtained descriptive data was statistically Analyzed using SPSS version 16 software. Results: 43.7% of the parents responded that their children do not cooperate while tooth brushing with different quoted reasons. 37% of the parents experienced difficulties to brush their child’s teeth mainly due to lack of access to all areas of the mouth. 50% of the parents were not brushing all surfaces of the teeth. Only 8% of the parents started brushing when the first tooth erupted and 38% of the parents made their children brush twice a day. 68% of the parents spent 1-3minutes for brushing, 62% of the parents rinse their child’s mouth minimally after brushing, 63% parents used a pea size of toothpaste, 64% of the parents used children’s toothpaste, 51% of the parents thought that fluoride is more important in preventing cavities and 48% of the parents were aware that their child’s toothpaste contained fluoride. Conclusions: Most common reasons for uncoperativeness while tooth brushing was because of the willingness of the children to brush themselves. Main difficulty in tooth brushing was to access all areas of the mouth. Knowledge of the parents regarding frequency of tooth brushing and age at which brushing has to be started was deficient.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)344-349
Number of pages6
JournalIndian Journal of Public Health Research and Development
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 09-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Tooth brushing in pre-school children: An indian perspective of parental challenges'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this