Purpose: To examine the relationship between mothers’ knowledge, attitude and dental caries status and their
young children’s dental caries status.
Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 153 2- to 6-year old children old and their mothers were dentally
examined. Mothers’ decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT) and children’s decayed, missing or filled teeth
(dmft) were recorded. A validated questionnaire was used to examine maternal knowledge and attitudes regarding
the importance for the oral health of their children.
Results: The average age of children and mothers were 5.1 and 31 years, respectively. The mothers’ and children’s
mean DMFT and dmft were 12 and 6, respectively. The mean level of mothers’ knowledge was 31.5 out of 40,
while the mean attitude was 24.5 out of 30 points. There was a statistically significant inverse correlation between
mothers’ knowledge and their DMFT (r = –0.7), and between mothers’ knowledge and children’s dmft (r = –0.6).
Also, there was an inverse correlation between mothers’ attitude and DMFT (r = –0.8), and between mothers’ attitude
and dmft (r = –0.7). A direct correlation between mothers’ DMFT and children’s dmft (r = +0.6) was observed.
Conclusion: Attempts at improving the knowledge and attitude in parents have a substantial impact on improving
the oral health of next generation.