Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pedodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, Ege University

2 Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ege University, Izmir, Turkey


INTRODUCTION: An oral health program for mothers starting from pregnancy in a disadvantaged
district of İzmir was performed in 2013–2016. Dental behaviors and their determinants among
intervention and control groups were compared in the third phase of the program.
METHODS: This nonrandomized‑controlled study was conducted in Phase 3. The intervention group
began with 248 pregnant women; 69.4% (n = 172) of mothers with 6–9‑month‑old babies participated
in Phase 2, 2014. At Phase 3 (18–24 months), 68.6% (n = 118) of mothers in the intervention group
and 113 mothers living in another district as controls were included. Sociodemographic characteristics,
determinants of behaviors, and outcomes defined as dental behaviors in the last week were assessed
using a questionnaire.
RESULTS: Regarding knowledge, perceived severity, and fatalistic beliefs, the intervention group
had higher correct answer percentages. The percentage of mothers who could clean their children’s
teeth before sleep was higher in the intervention group (76.3%; P < 0.05), but the difference was
lost by a child’s resistance. The significant difference on avoiding bedtime nursing (65.3%) and
sugary snacks (74.4%) in the intervention group disappeared with the obstacle of a child’s protests
or interference from relatives. In the intervention group, 32.2% of the mothers reported that they
did not give any sugary snacks, 43.2% had never fed during sleep, and 26.3% cleaned their
children’s teeth during the last week. The results in the control group were 24.8%, 18.6%, and 8.8%,
respectively (P < 0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The program improved the mothers’ views regarding the determinants of dental
behaviors, but greater support against obstacles was needed. Social environmental support is planned
for the following stages of the program.


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