The association of knowledge on oral health and utilization of dental services among pregnant women

Ola Mousa, Asmaa Hamed, Norah Al Omar


Good oral health during pregnancy can possibly reduce complications and this will improve the quality of life of the pregnant woman. In addition, this will prevent the risk of the child to develop early childhood dental caries in the future. The main objective of this study was to determine if there is an association existingbetween the level of knowledge on oral health and utilization of dental services among pregnant women. Furthermore, the study determined the (a) proportion among pregnant women who had high level of knowledge regarding dental careduring pregnancy, (b) proportion of pregnant women who ever visited the dentist during pregnancy, (c) proportions of expecting women who are regularly brushing her teeth and whouses dental floss during pregnancy, and (d) factors that hinders the expecting women from visiting the dentist during pregnancy. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted at El Minia University Maternal and Child Health Hospital, El Minia, Egypt. A cross-sectional self-administered questionnaire-based survey was conducted among 200 expectant mothers, approached 156 out of them returned completed questionnaires, representing a response rate of 78%. Results revealed that: (a) nearly 65% of pregnant mothers had a high level of poor knowledge regarding dental care during pregnancy, (b) roughly 24% of pregnant women ever visited the dentist during pregnancy, (c) about 80% and 43% of expecting women regularly brush their teeth at least twice per day and use dental floss during pregnancy, respectively, and (d) among the factors that hinder the expecting women from visiting the dentist during pregnancy include having no time to visit, the consultation cost, fear and anxiety about the procedure, long waiting time, transportation problem and the idea of not needing the dental care. Moreover, the results showed that there was no sufficient evidence to say that the level of knowledge regarding dental service during pregnancy is associated with the utilization of dental service during pregnancy (Pearson Chi-square p-value = .160). The study concludes that health promotion on oral care during prenatal visits should address the mythologies and misconceptions among pregnant women. Therefore, healthcare providers should raise awareness among expectant mothers about giving special attention to oral health needs due to the higher risk of oral diseases that may affect pregnancy and the child inside the womb.

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Journal of Nursing Education and Practice

ISSN 1925-4040 (Print)   ISSN 1925-4059 (Online)

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