When can oral health education begin? Relative effectiveness of three oral health education strategies starting pre-partum
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OBJECTIVE: To test the impact of oral health education provided to pregnant mothers on subsequent practices within the infant's family. RESEARCH DESIGN: A quasi-experimental intervention trial comparing the effectiveness of 'usual care' to one, or both, of two oral health education resources: a 'sample bag' of information and oral health care products; and/or a nine-minute "Healthy Teeth for Life" video on postnatal oral health issues. PARTICIPANTS: Women attending the midwife clinic at approximately 30 weeks gestation were recruited (n=611) in a public hospital providing free maternity services. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS: Four months after the birth of their infant, relative to the usual care condition, each of the oral health education interventions had independent or combined positive impacts on mother's knowledge of oral health practices. However young, single, health care card-holder or unemployed mothers were less likely to apply healthy behaviours or to improve knowledge of healthy choices, as a result of these interventions. The video intervention provided the strongest and most consistent positive impact on mothers' general and infant oral health knowledge. While mothers indicated that the later stage of pregnancy was a good time to receive oral health education, many suggested that this should also be provided after birth at a time when teeth were a priority issue, such as when "baby teeth" start to erupt.
Community Dental Health
Copyright 2012 The British Association for the Study of Community Dentistry (BASCD). The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.