European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 255–266 | Cite as

Oral health status of pre-school children of incarcerated mothers in United Arab Emirates prison nurseries and oral health knowledge and attitudes of their caregivers

  • A. Al Salami
  • M. Al Halabi
  • I. Hussein
  • M. KowashEmail author
Original Scientific Article



To evaluate the oral-health of preschool-children of incarcerated-mothers at nine United Arab Emirates (UAE) prison-nurseries and assess the oral-health knowledge and attitudes of the prison nurseries’ caregivers.

Study design

Cross sectional comparative study.


A total of 128 and 254 preschool children formed the study and control groups respectively. All were examined clinically for dental caries using the dmft score and oral health and hygiene status indices. Knowledge and attitudes of all caregivers (n = 45) at prison nurseries were assessed using an interview questionnaire.


The prevalence of caries was not significantly different between the two groups with 89.9% [mean-dmft 4.97 (± 3.61)] in the study group and 92.1% [mean-dmft 4.48 (± 3.60)] in the controls. Oral-hygiene in the control group was better with 18.2% having good oral-hygiene compared to 6.2% in the study-group. Oral-health knowledge and attitude of the caregivers of prison nurseries were not satisfactory.


Despite the non-significant difference in the caries prevalence between the study and control groups, oral hygiene and care level of vulnerable-children of incarcerated-mothers were significantly poorer. Prisons’ caregivers had poor knowledge and attitude of dental health matters.


Incarcerated mothers’ children Prison nurseries Oral health Prison caregivers Dental knowledge 



The authors wish to thank Dr. Ammar Hassan for his valuable contribution to the statistical analysis of the data. We would like also to extend our sincerest gratitude to the participants and UAE Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Health and Community Prevention for their great support in this study. We applied the “first-last-author-emphasis” norm (FLAE) for the sequence and credit of authors’ contribution.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the manuscript.

Ethical approval

The ethical approval was obtained from the Research Ethics Review Committee in Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental Medicine (HBMCDM) with the ethical approval reference number [Ref: HBMCDM/EC/2021]. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ministry of Interior (MOI) of UAE.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Hamdan Bin Mohammed College of Dental MedicineMohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health SciencesDubaiUnited Arab Emirates

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