Maintaining appropriate oral cavity hygiene in a young child is closely related to the health awareness and health-promoting behaviours of their parents/guardians, and especially that of the child’s mother. The aim of the study was to evaluate the knowledge of pregnant women regarding best practice oral hygiene procedures in young children. The survey involved 327 pregnant women aged 16-49 years, and the tool utilized was an anonymous questionnaire survey. The questionnaire included seven one-choice questions concerning basic information on proper oral hygiene procedures as should be practiced by young children. The statistical analysis was performed using Statistica PROGRAM 10 (StatSoft). The results of the survey reveal 60.55% of all surveyed had correct knowledge with regard to appropriate cleaning practices for the toothless oral cavity of an infant, that concerning the beginning of tooth brushing - 70.03%, tooth cleaning after night feeding - 39.76%, the duration of tooth brushing (at least 3-4 minutes) - 43.12%. What is more, the result of the survey demonstrate that slightly more than a half of the surveyed mothers (53.82%) would encourage their children to brush their teeth on their own from the first year of age, while 18.35% believe that children should be assisted in tooth brushing at least to their eighth year of age, and 59.63% would use fluoride toothpaste to brush their child’s teeth before he or she is one year old. Of the participants in this survey, pregnant women with university education, those living in large cities, or who are older, and those who had had previous pregnancies, show greater knowledge regarding suitable oral hygiene practices among young children. Our results reveal that extensive application of modern information technologies can be a means of preventing early childhood caries by facilitating the transmission of knowledge on proper nutrition and oral hygiene practices among young children.
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Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.