Knowledge and Attitude of School Teachers Regarding Early Childhood Caries in Navi Mumbai (India)

Devendra Patil
Paedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Terna Dental College, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Background: Early childhood caries (ECC) remains a major unresolved dental public health problem in both developed and developing countries. School teachers can act as promoters of oral health in society. The knowledge and attitude of school teachers is one of the essential factors in controlling ECC. The objective of this study was to evaluate level of knowledge and attitude of school teachers regarding ECC in schools of Navi Mumbai (India).

Material and Methods: A cross sectional survey was conducted among school teachers in Navi Mumbai. 554 teachers of primary and secondary section completed a self-administered, structured questionnaire comprising 12 questions. These included demographic data, knowledge about etiology of ECC, its prevention, their attitude and practice, and role of teachers in management of ECC. Descriptive statistics (P< 0.05) and chi square test was applied.

Result: A total of 554 school teachers filled the questionnaire. The number of female teachers (76.9%) was three times the male teachers (23.1%). Around 55% of study population considered bacteria and amount of sweets consumed as the cause of dental caries. 88% teachers had no knowledge related to breastfeeding or bottle feeding as a etiologic factor for ECC. 68% teachers felt that parents should take child to dentist every 6 months.

Conclusion: The knowledge regarding ECC among school teachers in Navi Mumbai was inadequate. Teachers were willing to participate in oral health promotion training programs to update their knowledge regarding oral health care in children.

Devendra Patil