Oral health practices of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in the Jos University Teaching Hospital

Title of Paper Oral health practices of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
Authors AYORINDE O A
Year of Publication/Presentation 2011
JOURNAL OF COMMUNITY HEALTH (JCH):2:2-23   www.jchpublication.co.za
Research Area Public Health/PHC
Oral health is important to overall quality of life, self esteem and social confidence. The oral health of pregnant women is of importance especially with the link to premature birth and low birth weight babies. A mother’s influence over the child’s development of habits cannot also be over emphasized. This study was therefore carried out to determine the oral health practices of pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in the Jos University Teaching Hospital.
This is a cross-sectional study that involved the administration of a pretested semi-structured questionnaire to 361 pregnant women attending antenatal clinic. The questionnaire examined their oral health practices. Selection process was through systematic random sampling and data analysis was done using descriptive and inferential statistics. The ages of the participants ranged from 18-44 years with a mean of 29.4 ± 5.2 years. Ninety seven point eight percent (97.8%) of the participants were married, 43.5% had tertiary level of education and 68.7% were employed. Almost all the participants (99.4%) reportedly used toothbrush and toothpaste to clean their mouth and 62.9% brushed their teeth twice daily. Fifty three point five percent of the participants use their toothbrushes for less than 3 months while a majority (78.9%) had never visited a dentist. There was a statistically significant relationship between the level of education, age and religion of participants with some of their practices (life span of toothbrush and dental visit), p<0.05. In conclusion, although the participants reportedly had good oral health practices, there was low level of dental services utilization.