Childhood caries may result into severe impairment of both general and oral health. One factor which plays an important role in the development of childhood dental caries is the family. Especially for children under the age of 10, parents can be considered the most important factor in caries prevention. Parents play a fundamental role in the initiation and reinforcement of these oral health-related behaviours. This study aims to evaluate the parental willingness to invest (WTI) in the oral health of their child in terms of money and time and to relate this to oral health behaviour (OHB) aspects.
Methods: A sample of 167, six to seven year old children studying in 1st and 2nd standard were recruited from SVET English School, Attibele, Bangalore. Screening was done to examine the DMFT scores of the Children. A structured parental questionnaires was used to collect data on parents WTI and children OHB.
Results: Results showed that 60% parents supervised their child tooth brushing, 44.2% parents were willing to spend a maximum of 50 to 100 rupee per month to keep their childs mouth healthy, 47.9% were willing to spend 1 to 2 brushing minutes per day, 35.8% were not willing to visit dentist even once a year to maintain good oral health for their child.
Conclusion: Results suggest that children are better off when parents are willing to invest in terms of brushing minutes, money and visit to a dentist per year to maintain good oral health of their children.