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Type: Journal article
Title: Oral and dental health care practices in pregnant women in Australia: a postnatal study
Author: Thomas, N.
Middleton, P.
Crowther, C.
Citation: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth, 2008; 8(13):1-6
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd.
Issue Date: 2008
ISSN: 1471-2393
Statement of
Natalie J Thomas , Philippa F Middleton and Caroline A Crowther
Abstract: Background The aims of this study were to assess women's knowledge and experiences of dental health in pregnancy and to examine the self-care practices of pregnant women in relation to their oral health. Methods Women in the postnatal ward at the Women's and Children's Hospital, Adelaide, completed a questionnaire to assess their knowledge, attitudes and practices to periodontal health. Pregnancy outcomes were collected from their medical records. Results were analysed by chi-square tests, using SAS. Results Of the 445 women enrolled in the survey, 388 (87 per cent) completed the questionnaire. Most women demonstrated reasonable knowledge about dental health. There was a significant association between dental knowledge and practices with both education and socio-economic status. Women with less education and lower socio-economic status were more likely to be at higher risk of poor periodontal health compared with women with greater levels of education and higher socioeconomic status. Conclusion Most women were knowledgeable about oral and dental health. Lack of knowledge about oral and dental health was strongly linked to women with lower education achievements and lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Whether more intensive dental health education in pregnancy can lead to improved oral health and ultimately improved pregnancy outcomes requires further study.
Keywords: Humans; Oral Hygiene; Self Care; Health Surveys; Population Surveillance; Questionnaires; Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice; Pregnancy; Socioeconomic Factors; Education; Adult; Australia; Female
Rights: Copyright © 2008 Thomas et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
RMID: 0020084472
DOI: 10.1186/1471-2393-8-13
Appears in Collections:Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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