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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalBritish Dental Journal
Volume3
Issue number17004
Early online date24 Mar 2017
DOIs
Accepted/In press5 Dec 2016
E-pub ahead of print24 Mar 2017

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King's Authors

Abstract

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.

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