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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-4

Parental awareness regarding the use of fluoride products in their children: A questionnaire study in Malappuram, Kerala, India

1 Professor and Head, Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Malabar Dental College, Manoor, Kerala, India
2 Professor, Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Annor Dental College and Hospital, Ernakulam, Kerala, India
3 Senior Lecturer, Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Malabar Dental College, Manoor, Kerala, India
4 Post Graduate, Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Malabar Dental College, Manoor, Kerala, India

Correspondence Address:
R Krishna Kumar
Annor Dcental College and Hospital, Ernakulam, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijpcdr.ijpcdr_2_23

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Introduction: Oral health is an integral part of general health and has an impact on the quality of life of children. Proper oral hygiene along with nutrition, regular dental visits, and fluoride (F) prophylaxis has got a significant impact on the oral health of children. Mostly, the family provides background for the development of knowledge regarding the use of F products among children. Hence, the aim of this study is to evaluate parental knowledge about the use of F products in children. The study included 356 correctly filled-in questionnaires from randomly chosen parents of children which were circulated through social platforms. Materials and Methods: The questionnaire contained 21 questions relating to F products used by children, as well as their benefits and usage limitations. For statistical analysis, descriptive statistics were performed. Results: More than 80% of parents have heard of F, and the main source of information was television/newspaper. Out of the parents, 59% of them believe that F can reverse early-stage tooth decay, whereas the other half do not agree with this. A very less number of parents are aware of the professional F treatments available in dental clinics. As per this study, 28.7% of school-going children had participated in school-based F preventive treatment. Among the mothers, 76% of them have not used any F-containing medications during pregnancy. Most of the respondents have not heard of the term fluorosis and are unaware of its symptoms. Conclusion: There is an association between the female gender and knowledge about the benefits of F prevention. The parental knowledge about oral hygiene and anticaries prevention with the use of F in children is insufficient. Most parents are neither familiar with the type of toothpaste their children should use nor aware of the proper amount of dentifrice to apply on a toothbrush. Dentists would be able to guide them by providing proper knowledge regarding F use. Care must be taken to ensure that a balance is maintained between maximizing the protective F effect against dental caries and minimizing the risk of dental fluorosis.

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