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Vol. 43, No. 2, 2009
Issue release date: April 2009
Caries Res 2009;43:103–109

Relationship between Mothers’ Sense of Coherence and Oral Health Status of Preschool Children

Bonanato K. · Paiva S.M. · Pordeus I.A. · Ramos-Jorge M.L. · Barbabela D. · Allison P.J.
aFaculty of Dentistry, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, and bFaculty of Biological and Health Sciences, Federal University of Vale of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri, Diamantina, Brazil; cFaculty of Dentistry, McGill University, Montreal, Que., Canada

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Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship between mothers’ sense of coherence (SOC) and oral health status in a representative sample of 5-year-old preschool children. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Belo Horizonte (Brazil) on a sample of 546 mothers and their 5-year-old children, randomly selected from preschools. Data were collected through questionnaires (mothers), the short version of Antonovsky’s SOC scale (SOC-13) and clinical dental examinations (children). Simple and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed on the data. The following 8 outcome variables were selected: dental caries, filled and missing teeth, dental pulp exposure due to caries, dental root fragment, visible plaque, gingivitis and supragingival calculus. The examination was carried out by 2 trained, calibrated examiners. Results: Mothers with a lower SOC were more likely to have children with decayed teeth (OR = 1.59, 95% CI = 1.01–2.29), dental pulp exposure (OR = 1.99, 95% CI = 1.06–3.77) or filled teeth (OR = 1.85, 95% CI = 1.12–3.06) regardless of the child’s social class and gender. Conclusion: The data indicate that mothers’ SOC is an important psychosocial determinant of the oral health status among preschool children.

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