European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 118–122 | Cite as

Change in parental oral health practices following a child’s dental treatment under general anaesthesia

  • M. S. AminEmail author
  • R. L. Harrison


Aims: This qualitative study explored parental beliefs and behaviours that place their child at risk to caries relapse and parental readiness to adopt and maintain preventive behaviours following their child’s general anaesthesia (GA). Methods: Participants were parents whose children had had dental rehabilitation under GA. Data was collected by semistructured, open-ended interviews scheduled at the postoperative appointment. Interviews were audio-taped, transcribed, checked and coded into a qualitative software program for analysis. Results: Parents knew about the importance of diet and oral hygiene in the prevention of dental caries, but they were not aware of the role of bacteria. However, many parents perceived their ability to control their child’s oral hygiene and eating habits to be limited. The main barriers to healthy baby teeth reported by parents were related to the child (uncooperative behaviour, eating habits, social interactions), the family (poor understanding by other caregivers, mother’s self-efficacy, concerns about the cost of treatment), and external events (access to dental services for very young children and advertising of unhealthy commercial products). Conclusion: Although the GA experience had a profound emotional effect on parents that motivated them to take immediate action and implement changes in oral health behaviours, they were overwhelmed by the difficulties of applying these behaviours in the long term.

Key words

parents qualitative research children, prevention general anaesthesia 


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Oral Health Sciences, Faculty of DentistryUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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