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|Ajibola Adegboye, Khomotjo Mpolobosho and Sharafadeen Olatunbosun|
|Management College of Southern Africa, South Africa
Fourways Medical Centre, South Africa
|ScientificTracks Abstracts: J Oral Hyg Health|
|Early Childhood Caries (ECC) has been documented to be of highest prevalence in predominantly Coloured (Mixed-Race) rather than in White- or Black-dominated communities of South Africa. As a result of a new realization that parents/primary caregivers (PCGs) rather than the child are the key individuals who determine the social and behavioural environment that shape oral health practices for children, this study set out to examine the relationship between health behaviours of primary caregivers (Biological parents or not) of preschool children and caries experience in South Africa's Ekurhuleni Health District (using a predominantly Coloured community of Arla Park). A total of 545 PCG-child pairs for children in the age group of 12-71 months were interviewed (PCGs only) and examined, using DMFT/deft indices (PCGs and children). Results showed that overall, the mean deft ranged between 2.88 (aged <4 years) and 3.78 (aged 4-5.11 years); and high deft scores occurred to children with PCGs who are unemployed (78.1%), consume alcohol frequently (59.87%), visited dentist only when in pain and for tooth extraction (68.11%) and admitted to putting infants to sleep with bottle-with-sugary-drinks (65.72%). The strong negative relationship that was revealed in this study between socio-economic profile, oral/dental care and health seeking/child grooming behaviour of PCGs on the one hand, and mean deft index of their children on the other, can be a useful tool for screening and targeting child populations in need of treatment, and also assist public policy planning towards developing health preventative and promotion programmes to aid early intervention and prevention.|
Ajibola Adegboye completed his Dental and Postdoctoral degrees from Nigerian and South African Universities. He owns a solo dental practice in South Africa. He attended the UW, Seattle School of Public Health as a Fogarty Fellow (1990), and he has contributed to scientifically reputed international meetings and journals on infection control and HIV/AIDS, and dentistry. He is currently finalising his MBA dissertation with Management College of Southern Africa (Mancosa). His previous peer-reviewed publications include the collaborations with Joan Kreiss, MD, Femi Soyinka, MD and Greg Moss, MD (1990) and PG Robinson, RW Rowland, Steven Yeung and Newell Johnson (2002).
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