Pediatric Oral Health Self-reported by Caregivers of Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Children
Keywords:Child, Epidemiology, Oral Health, Deafness, Social Inclusion
AbstractObjective: To verify and compare the sociodemographic data and caregivers’ self-perception of children’s oral health condition, hygiene habits and seek for dental services among family units of deaf and normal-hearing children. Material and Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study was conducted with 64 parents/caregivers of 16 deaf and 48 normal-hearing children of 3-14 years old, belonging to reference centers in Belo Horizonte, southeastern Brazil. Deaf and hearing children were matched according to their sex and age. Sociodemographic characteristics of the family units and self-report of oral health conditions and care were assessed using a structured questionnaire, including information regarding seeking pediatric dental services. Descriptive analysis and chi-square test were performed (p<0.05). Results: Most individuals in the sample were mothers (84.4%). Low family income (p=0.024) and higher education level of guardians (p=0.018) were associated with families of hearing children. The report of clinical treatment or toothache as the main reason for the children’s last dental appointment was associated with families of deaf children (p=0.047). Conclusion: Based on caregivers’ reports, hearing-impaired children demonstrated greater vulnerability to present dental pain or clinical treatment as the main reasons for their last access to dental appointments.
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