Aim: To assess the knowledge and attitude of pregnant women about infant oral healthcare.
Study design: A cross-sectional questionnaire study.
Method: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 350 primigravida women aged between 20 and 40 years visiting the DY Patil Medical Hospital for their antenatal examination. A multiple-choice questionnaire with 12 questions in addition to demographic information and socioeconomic status was designed in three languages.
Results: Based on the level of education of the pregnant women, there was a statistically significant difference in knowledge and attitude toward infant oral healthcare (p = 0.001). The occupational status resounded significant differences between employed vs housewives and unemployed women (p = 0.000). Socioeconomic status also showed significant differences between the upper strata and lower strata groups (p = 0.000).
Statistics: Data normality was tested using the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and Shapiro-Wilk test. Since the data were not normally distributed, we used nonparametric tests for analysis. The total scores for different domains were compared between the different subgroups based on age, occupation, education, trimester, and socioeconomic status using nonparametric one-way ANOVA (Kruskal-Wallis test). Post-hoc pairwise comparisons were done using Bonferroni's method. All testing was done using two-sided tests with alpha = 0.05 (95% confidence level).
Conclusion: This study gives us an insight into the inadequacies existing in our society amongst expectant women in relation to oral health-promoting factors for infants.
Clinical significance: Educating pregnant women about maintaining their own oral health and care for their offspring will potentially help to curb early childhood dental diseases in future generations.
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