Knowledge of preschool teachers in the prefecture of Attica of early childhood oral health. Association with their demographic and personal characteristics
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To investigate the knowledge of preschool teachers of early childhood oral health (OH) and its association with demographic and educational characteristics as well as with personal oral health habits and attitudes.
Teachers (594) of preschool children were invited to complete a questionnaire with 40 questions on demographic data, knowledge of early childhood OH issues, personal OH habits and attitudes, and participation in OH educational programmes at preschools. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, Spearman correlation coefficients, multiple linear and logistic regression modelling (p ≤ 0.05).
The mean age of participants was 40.9 years (SD 7.5), 68.5% of them had children of their own, 72.6% had not attended any OH educational course during their studies, 70% believed that they had insufficient knowledge to implement an OH educational programme, 44.6% had implemented such a programme, 26.8% knew that the first dental visit should be at a child’s first birthday and 36.7% knew the correct age that tooth brushing should start. The most significant factors that influenced overall teachers’ knowledge on early childhood oral health were: their participation in OH educational programmes (p < 0.001), their belief that OH courses during their studies were necessary (p = 0.01), their confidence on OH knowledge (p = 0.03) and parenthood (p = 0.05).
Based on the results of this study, there was a lack of knowledge among preschool teachers in significant OH issues for that age. Moreover, limitations in implementing OH educational programmes at preschools were attributed mainly to lack of self-confidence in relevant knowledge. Nevertheless, participants acknowledged the significance of OH and were willing to participate in relevant teacher training.
KeywordsPreschool teachers Early childhood oral health Early childhood oral health knowledge Preschool age
The authors would like to thank the Municipal Preschool Authority of the City of Athens and all the teachers that participated in the study. This project was funded by the “Live.Learn.Laugh” project by FDI/Unilever and supported by the Hellenic Dental Association.
Compliance with ethical standards
This project was funded by the “Live.Learn.Laugh” project by FDI/Unilever and supported by the Hellenic Dental Association.
All the authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study involved human participants that had received informed consent for this project.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
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