Behavior During Tooth Brushing in the Home Environment in Preterm and Full-Term Infants

Elaine Cristina Vargas Dadalto, Karoline Santos de Andrade, Ana Maria Martins Gomes, Lilian Citty Sarmento, Edinete Maria Rosa


Objective: To evaluate the behavior during toothbrushing of preterm and full-term infants through maternal report. Material and Methods: This study is based on secondary data collected from dental records of infants aged 12-38 months. The collected data of demographic and socioeconomic status, prematurity, tooth brushing habit and infant behavior during toothbrushing were tabulated using the SPSS-21.0 software and analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics, carried out by the Chi-square, Fisher's exact or maximum likelihood ratio statistical tests, with significant level of 5%. Results: The types of infant behavior during toothbrushing were: cooperative, participative, resistant, inflexible and independent. Variables maternal education, family income and frequency of day care attendance showed significant differences regarding the infant’s behavior (p=0.031, 0.033 and 0.004, respectively). No significant differences were found between infant’s behavior during toothbrushing and maternal occupation/study (p=0.301), primiparity (p=0.109), infant's gender (p=0,233), prematurity (p=0,479), weight/gestational age ratio (p=0.231), toothbrushing before bed (p=0.83), dental biofilm (p=0,189) and presence of caries or extensive dental changes (p=0.566). Conclusion: There was no evidence that there is a difference in the behavior during toothbrushing of preterm and full term infants. Collaborative behavior was influenced by socioeconomic factors such as higher maternal schooling and family income, and in infants who attended day care.


Child Behavior; Toothbrushing; Infant; Premature Birth; Dental Caries

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