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Parents' reasons for brushing or not brushing their child's teeth: a qualitative study

Trubey, Robert J., Moore, Simon Christopher ORCID: and Chestnutt, Ivor Gordon ORCID: 2014. Parents' reasons for brushing or not brushing their child's teeth: a qualitative study. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry 24 (2) , pp. 104-112. 10.1111/ipd.12034

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Background: Despite recent improvements in oral health, dental caries remains a significant source of morbidity for young children. Research has shown that regular toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste reduces the risk of dental caries, but the factors that influence parental decisions about whether or not to brush their infant children's teeth at home are poorly understood. Aim: To develop an in-depth understanding of the issues that parents face from socio-economically deprived areas when trying to brush their young children's teeth at home. Design: Fifteen parents of children aged 3–6 years took part in semi-structured telephone interviews, discussing factors relating to brushing their child's teeth at home. Thematic analysis was used to develop three themes. Results: Parents discussed the difficulty of brushing their children's teeth in the evening, due to changing day-to-day routines, and the subsequent difficulty of forming a toothbrushing habit. Motivating factors for brushing children's teeth were largely short term. Satisfaction with brushing frequency was influenced more by perceptions of how often other parents brushed children's teeth than by the ‘twice a day’ norm or health outcomes. Conclusion: Results are discussed in relation to research and theories from the psychology and behavioural economics literature, and comparisons are drawn with assumptions inherent in more traditional oral health promotion messages.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Additional Information: Online publication date: 18 April 2013.
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0960-7439
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 02:11

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