Introduction: Parents influence children’s eating behaviours by making some foods available than others and by acting as models of eating behaviour. Food selected by parents influence general and oral health of their children. Aim: Aim of this study was to assess oral health parameters among primary school children and motives for food choice among their parents in Mangalore. Materials and Methods: A total of 759 primary school children aged 5-10 years, and their parents participated in this study. Motives for food choice among parents of children were evaluated by using Food Choice Questionnaire (FCQ). Oral health status of students was assessed by using World Health Organisation (WHO) Basic Oral Health Assessment Form. Data pertaining to dietary habits and demographics was also collected. Descriptive and inferential statistics along with Pearson’s correlation and Binary logistic regression were executed for the present study and level of significance was fixed at p<0.05. Results: Caries prevalence was 10.8% and 68.9% in permanent and primary dentitions, respectively. Mean Decayed, Missing And Filled Tooth (DMFT) index scores among study subjects were 0.21±0.72 and 3.08±3.11 for permanent and primary dentitions, respectively. Increase in caries prevalence was significantly associated with decrease in total FCQ scores. FCQ domains ‘health’, ‘natural content’ and ‘weight control’ were significantly correlated with dental caries experience. FCQ also showed significant correlation with socio-economic variables. Conclusions: Overall, dental caries experience was found to be high. Parental food choice motives positively influenced dietary patterns and caries experience of their children. Caries experience was less in children whose parents reported higher scores on FCQ. Understanding the barriers, identification of risk factors for poor food choices and targeting interventions might formulate ways by which the desired behaviour can be achieved.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry