Use of fluoride for oral health in children – knowledge and attitudes among parents

University essay from Umeå universitet/Institutionen för odontologi; Umeå universitet/Institutionen för odontologi

Abstract: In a ongoing research project, OMIC (Oral Microbiota in children), a sub study was made toevaluate the use of fluoride, knowledge and attitude among parents of the 200 participatingchildren.The children have been followed since birth and their parents answered questionnaires at 3,18 months and 3 years in the main study. At the 5-year inspection in the main study theparents were asked to fill in another questionnaire for the fluoride sub study.In this study the parents were asked to answer questions about their own and their children’suse of fluoride products and their view of the risk with using these products. Questions abouttoothpaste and tooth brushing were also included.All parents used fluoridated toothpaste and a third also used complementary products. In thisgroup of children there was no difference in caries experience between the ones using nonfluorideagainst fluoride toothpaste. Children who brushed their teeth themselves had morecaries than children who got help from a grown-up.In conclusion the results from our material do not support our hypothesis which is that thelack of information regarding efficacy and safety of fluoride toothpaste over the years and theimpact from social media has resulted in lower use of fluoride toothpaste to children becauseof the impact from the parents.The survey need to be done in a more heterogeneous population for clearer results. It isimportant to remember that parental support is a huge factor to improve oral health inchildren.

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