Socio-behavioral factors influencing tooth brushing frequency in schoolchildren
Medina Solís, Carlo Eduardo
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Background. Toothbrushing may help prevent some oral health diseases considered to be public health problemsin particular, certain presentations of chronic periodontal diseases and dental caries. The authors conducted a study to identify variables associated with frequency of toothbrushing with toothpaste among schoolchildren aged 6 to 12 years. Methods. The authors collected data regarding sociodemographic, socioeconomic, oral hygiene and attitudinal variables through a crosssectional questionnaire administered to 1,373 schoolchildren from Campeche, Mexico. They categorized toothbrushing frequency as two times a day or fewer and three times a day or more. The authors used logistic regression to analyze the data. Results. Multivariate analyses showed that girls (odds ratio [OR] = 1.41), older children (OR = 1.07) and offspring of mothers with higher levels of schooling (OR = 1.07) were more likely to brush more frequently. The results showed an interaction between the attitude of the mother toward oral health and the use of dental care in the previous 12 months. When mothers had a positive attitude, the likelihood of their childrens brushing more frequently was higher among those who received dental care in the previous 12 months (OR = 2.43; P ??.001) than among those who did not receive dental care. Conclusions. Mothers characteristics were associated with more favorable patterns of toothbrushing in children. Thus, targeting the linkages between mothers characteristics and childrens behaviors could lead to more effective health promotion and preventive efforts among this population. Clinical Implications. Clinicians should take into account that certain characteristics of mothers are associated with more desirable habits in their children. Future research should try to fully characterize these family linkages and determine how to support them.