Evaluation of the Oral Healthcare Programme during Pregnancy in reducing Dental Caries in young children in the district of Gampaha, in Sri Lanka
Keywords:ECC, Effectiveness, Evaluation, Pregnancy
Objectives: To evaluate the effectiveness of the National Oral Healthcare Programme for Pregnant Mothers in reducing Early Childhood Caries (ECC) in the district of Gampaha. Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study was carried out in 2013 - 2014, among 558 mothers, having one year or 1 ½ year old child, attending Maternal & Child Health MCH clinics in Gampaha district. A structured interview was conducted with every mother and
clinically examined the child for ECC. The effectiveness of the programme was determined by comparing the level of knowledge, attitude and practices on preventive measures of ECC between exposed and unexposed mothers to the oral healthcare package in pregnancy and ECC status of their children. Multivariate analysis was performed to treat the potential confounders. Results: Among interviewed, 41.8% (n=233) were exposed to the „oral healthcare package‟ consisted of health education, timely referral, oral screening and completion of recommended treatments by a Dental Surgeon. The prevalence of early childhood caries among one year old children was 17.2% (n=46) while it was 32.4% (n=94) among 1 ½ year old children. The level of knowledge, attitude and practices on oral healthcare during early childhood was significantly higher in the exposed mothers than the unexposed (Adj. OR=6.2; 95%C.I.=4.16-9.34; P<0.01). The occurrence of ECC was also significantly less likely in the children of exposed mothers than the unexposed (Adj. OR=0.41; 95%C.I.=0.22-0.75; P<0.01). Conclusion: The antenatal oral healthcare programme is effective in prevention of ECC.
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