What do expectant mothers need to know about oral health? A cohort study from a London maternity unit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

216 Downloads (Pure)


OBJECTIVE: To determine the oral health knowledge of pregnant women and to report their future plans to provide dental care for
their expected child.
DESIGN AND SETTING: Prospective cohort study; Ultrasound maternity services at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, 2014. Pregnant
women attending for a routine ultrasound scan completed a questionnaire.
RESULTS: Women did not know that milk, dried fruit or fruit juices can cause caries. Most women knew about the benefit of
fluoridated toothpaste, dental floss and sugar-free chewing gum, but only a minority knew about fluoride varnish. Most pregnant
women planned to read or seek advice before purchasing their child’s first toothpaste. There was no difference regarding
knowledge of prevention tools (diet and fluoride supplements) for dental caries (P40.05) between first-time mothers and those
who had children already. Though the latter knew more about toothpaste dose and timing of starting toothbrushing (Po0.05).
DISCUSSION: Oral health knowledge among pregnant women was deficient with respect to the cariogenicity of prolonged nighttime
milk feeding, dried fruits and fruit juice consumption. There was also limited knowledge of the benefit of fluoride varnish and
timing of starting toothbrushing.
CONCLUSIONS: Oral health knowledge amongst pregnant women is still deficient in many aspects. In this study population the
need to improve maternal knowledge was shown.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Issue number17004
Early online date24 Mar 2017
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 Mar 2017


  • Caries
  • Early childhood caries
  • Pregnant Women
  • Adult dental health survey
  • Dental Care


Dive into the research topics of 'What do expectant mothers need to know about oral health? A cohort study from a London maternity unit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this