Diversity Considerations for Promoting Early Childhood Oral Health: A Pilot Study

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Prowse, Sarah
Schroth, Robert J.
Wilson, Alexandria
Edwards, Jeanette M.
Sarson, Janet
Levi, Jeremy A.
Moffatt, Michael E.
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Objectives. Several groups in Manitoba, Canada, experience early childhood caries (ECC), including Aboriginal, immigrant, and refugee children and those from select rural regions. The purpose of this pilot study was to explore the views of parents and caregivers from four cultural groups on early childhood oral health and ECC. Methods. A qualitative descriptive study design using focus groups recruited parents and caregivers from four cultural groups. Discussions were documented, audio-recorded, transcribed, and then analyzed for content based on themes. Results. Parents and caregivers identified several potential barriers to good oral health practice, including child’s temperament, finances, and inability to control sugar intake. Both religion and genetics were found to influence perceptions of oral health. Misconceptions regarding breastfeeding and bottle use were present. One-on-one discussions, parental networks, and using laypeople from similar backgrounds were suggested methods to promote oral health. The immigrant and refugee participants placed emphasis on the use of visuals for those with language barriers while Hutterite participants suggested a health-education approach. Conclusions. These pilot study findings provide initial insight into the oral health-related knowledge and beliefs of these groups. This will help to inform planning of ECC prevention and research strategies, which can be tailored to specific populations.
Sarah Prowse, Robert J. Schroth, Alexandria Wilson, et al., “Diversity Considerations for Promoting Early Childhood Oral Health: A Pilot Study,” International Journal of Dentistry, vol. 2014, Article ID 175084, 10 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/175084