2021-07-09 593 279

Awareness and practices regarding dental health among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics in Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, Sri Lanka

Samarathunga S. M. I. S. K., Gamage, K. G. C. K. , Welahetti, S. R. , Lakmali, H. K. K. , Hemali, I. D. T. , Sewwandi, K. P. A. , Priyadarshani, U. G. N.
Year: 2020 Volume: 01

Dental health is an important aspect of health. Further, teeth related dilemmas are common in pregnancy and thus has influences on the growing fetus. The study was conducted to assess awareness and practices regarding dental health among pregnant women, who attended the antenatal clinic at Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital, Sri Lanka in 2018. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted with the participation of randomly selected 150 pregnant women who attended antenatal clinic, by using pre-tested interviewer administered questionnaire. Knowledge and practices scores were developed based on the maximum and minimum marks allocated for each section. Pearson Chi-square test was performed to determine the associations. Of the participants, 70% (n=105) were aware regarding the fact that hormonal imbalances during pregnancy may affect their dental health. However, only 21.3% (n=32) had awareness regarding the fact that frequent vomiting during pregnancy period is a risk factor for dental erosion. Further, 56.7% (n=85) of the participants were knowledgeable regarding the influence of mother's dental health on their growing fetus. Most frequent source of knowledge regarding the importance of dental health during pregnancy was the family doctor (40%, n=60) in participants, 54% (n=81) had good knowledge regarding dental health during pregnancy. Regarding overall level of dental care practices, only 33.3% (n=50) had good dental care practices. Age (p=0.02), level of education (p=0.01) and monthly income (p=0.01) showed a significant association with dental care knowledge while, the level of education (p=0.01) showed significant association with dental care practices among participants. Although more than half of the participants had good knowledge regarding dental health, less than one fourth of individuals were following proper dental practices. This study emphasizes the importance of conducting health education  programmes to reduce the knowledge practice gap and to highlight the importance of dental care practices during pregnancy for better health outcome towards mother and baby.

Keywords
Awareness , Practice , Dental health , Pregnant women , Patriarchy

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