The role of parental education and socioeconomic status in dental caries prevention among Lithuanian children.
The aim of this study was to disclose parental attitudes toward their children’s dental care and preventive measures used as well as to evaluate their associations with parental education and socioeconomic status.
A total of 1248 parents of 7-, 9-, and 12-year-old children from 5 largest Lithuanian cities were enrolled in the study. The questionnaire comprised 34 items, which were grouped into 4 clusters.
The parents with a high educational level scored better than those who had a low educational level (2.13 [SD, 0.39] vs. 2.2 [0.43], P=0.002). The parents who reported sufficient-family income scored their child’s and their own health significantly better than those reporting insufficient-family income (2.02 [SD, 0.37] vs. 2.27 [SD, 0.41], P<0.001). The parents cared about their child’s health more than about their own (1.53 [SD, 0.51] vs. 2.15 [0.61], P<0.001). The parents with a high educational level and those receiving sufficient income cared about education on oral hygiene and regular preventive dental check-ups more than those with a low educational level and insufficient income (36.7% and 40.8% vs. 30.2% and 28.7%, P Greater attention to children’s dental care as well as keeping their teeth healthy was paid by the parents with a high educational level and sufficient income.
Correspondence to K. Saldūnaitė Department of Preventive and Pediatric Dentistry, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Kaunas, Lithuania. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received 9 December 2013, accepted 7 July 2014, available online 29 July 2014.