Background: Early childhood caries (ECC) is highly prevalent with significant long-term consequences. Parents are primarily responsible for the oral health practices of their children. Parents’ health beliefs, attitudes, and cultural factors influence oral health practices. Aim: To explore and understand the perceptions and challenges faced by the parents of the children with ECC in performing routine oral hygiene practices for their children. Design: We conducted a qualitative description study with the parents of children with ECC. Data were collected through five focus groups using culturally appropriate, semi-structured, open-ended questions and probes. Focus groups were audiotaped, and field notes were taken, which were transcribed verbatim after each focus group session. Data were analyzed using content analyses. Results: A vast majority of the participants were aware of the significance of oral hygiene. However, they faced challenges in implementing proper home hygiene practices at home and lacked knowledge about the type of toothpaste and toothbrush to be used for their children. Conclusion: The parents of the children with ECC face a severe knowledge gap, which is interfering with the selection of proper oral hygiene aids for their children. They also face barriers in implementing oral hygiene routines for their children, in spite of awareness that tooth brushing is important.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Paediatric Dentistry
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)


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