Knowledge of Breastfeeding Mothers Regarding Caries Prevention in Toddlers

Johnny Kharouba, Shaden Mansour, Tal Ratson, Sarit Naishlos, Gina Weissman, Sigalit Blumer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mothers’ awareness regarding the risk factors for the development of early childhood caries is crucial. The current study aims to examine the knowledge of breastfeeding mothers about their baby’s dental health and prevention of ECC while comparing primiparous mothers to multiparous mothers. A total of 165 mothers aged 20–49 y/o participated in the study by completing questionnaires that assessed the knowledge and attitudes of mothers toward their infants’ oral health. Results showed that (1) mothers were found to be highly knowledgeable regarding the oral hygiene of their infants and the recommended breastfeeding best practices (71%); (2) mothers with lower education showed poor knowledge regarding the recommended practices of infant oral health; (3) a large proportion of the mothers in the sample (62%) reported that they usually tasted the food before giving it to their baby, in a way they could transmit bacteria to infants; (4) most of the mothers (68%) were not aware that their dental health during pregnancy affects the infants’ dental health; and (5) multiparous mothers were more knowledgeable regarding artificial baby milk composition (96%) in comparison with mothers with only a single child (60%). According to the results, there is a need to improve the knowledge of breastfeeding mothers, especially mothers who have one child and mothers with a lower education about their baby’s dental health. The results of this study shed light on the knowledge of breastfeeding mothers on this important topic and could serve policymakers to improve practices toward advancing better oral health for infants, without sacrificing the benefits of breastfeeding, which are so crucial for infant health and development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number136
JournalChildren
Volume10
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • breastfeeding
  • dental caries
  • infants
  • knowledge
  • toddlers

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