Awareness of Oral Hygiene Among Parents of Autistic Children in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

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Yasmine Tarek Ahmed, Shaista Haleem, Sharifah Ahmed Alrusayyis, Bedoor Nasser Almuhaidib, Wjoud Abdalrahman Albawardi

Abstract

Introduction: Recent surveys of parents of children with ASD have expanded our knowledge about barriers to home oral care and dental visits; however, the underlying reasons for such barriers are incompletely understood.
Materials and methods: Cross sectional study: a close ended questionnaire was developed in two parts: Part one: demographic data, part two included: oral care at home, oral care at the dentist and access to oral care.
Results: Concerning helping children while brushing their teeth, it was done by mothers (65.4%), themselves (21.2%) and more than one person (9.6%). When inquired about the frequency of brushing practiced by their children, 32.7% reported their child brushing twice a day, 26.9% brushed once daily and 5.8% never brushed.
Conclusion: Overall awareness of parents with ASD children regarding oral health is low. This justifies the necessity for parents to receive education about routine dental checkups, the causes of caries, and other oral health-related topics.

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