Pregnant Women’s Infant Oral Health Knowledge and Beliefs: Influence of Having Given Birth and of Having a Child in the Home
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Introduction Prenatal oral health interventions can positively impact maternal and child oral health, yet limited information exists concerning how to best educate pregnant women about infant oral health. Our objective was to examine the influence of having given birth on pregnant women’s infant oral health knowledge and beliefs. Methods We conducted a secondary analysis of data collected from a cross-sectional survey of pregnant women ≥18 years old attending UNC’s Ultrasound Clinic. Four binomial items were categorized as infant knowledge (IK) and five rated on a Likert scale (1–5) as infant belief (IB). Overall IK and IB scores were calculated, averaging the items within each construct. Respondents were categorized into two groups: multiparous (N = 268), women having at least one previous live birth and a child between 2 and 6 years old, or nulliparous (N = 186), women with no previous live births or a child between 2 and 6 years old. Regression models for IK and IB were conducted using SAS 9.2 with maternal demographic characteristics, dental utilization, and birth history as explanatory variables (p ≤ 0.05). Results IK was affected by race (p = 0.04), mother’s oral health self-rating (p = 0.0002), and birth history (p < 0.0001). On average, IK was 0.12 units higher in subjects with a history of giving birth, adjusting for explanatory variables. IB was influenced by maternal oral health beliefs (p = 0.002) and history of access to dental care (p = 0.0002). IB did not differ based on birth history (p = 0.17). Discussion The influence of birth history on pregnant women’s infant oral health knowledge and beliefs can be considered in future intervention designs to maximize available resources.
KeywordsOral health Pregnancy Birth order Preventive care Infant health
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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