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Parental preference for fluoride varnish: a new concept in a rapidly developing nation

Authors Hendaus M, Jamha H, Siddiqui F, Elsiddig S, Alhammadi A

Received 26 March 2016

Accepted for publication 17 May 2016

Published 13 July 2016 Volume 2016:10 Pages 1227—1233

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/PPA.S109269

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Doris Leung

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Mohamed A Hendaus,1,2 Hibaq A Jama,1 Faisal J Siddiqui,1,3 Sohair A Elsiddig,1 Ahmed H Alhammadi1,2

1Department of Pediatrics, General Academic Pediatrics Section, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, 2Department of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill Cornell Medical College, 3Pediatric Residency Program, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Objective:
The objective of this study was to investigate parental preference for fluoride varnish in a country where the average percentage of dental caries in young children is up to ~73%. Consequently, the aim of this study, despite being a pilot, was to create a nationwide project in the State of Qatar to promote oral health in children.
Methods:
A cross-sectional perspective study was conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation in Qatar. Parents of children aged ≤5 years were offered an interview survey. A total of 200 questionnaires were completed (response rate =100%). The study was conducted between December 1, 2014 and March 30, 2015, and included all children aged >1 year and <5 years who came to the outpatient clinics for well-child and sick visits. We also included children who were admitted to the inpatient wards.
Results:
The mean age of participant children was 2.8±1.1 years. When inquiring regarding parents’ knowledge and awareness of dental health, we found that >90% of families were aware that dental health affects the health of the whole body. The study showed that ~70% of parents were not aware of the existence of fluoride varnish, but would allow a health provider to apply fluoride varnish. Furthermore, ~80% of parents would not stop brushing their child’s teeth and would not skip dentist appointments if varnish was to be applied. Approximately 40% of parents conveyed some concerns regarding the safety of fluoride varnish, despite being considered as a new concept. The main concern was that the child might swallow some of the fluoride. Another important concern expressed by parents was the availability of the fluoride varnish in all clinics.
Conclusion:
The robust positive attitude of parents in this sample suggests that introducing fluoride varnish is feasible and acceptable in our community. Actions to augment fluoride varnish acceptability in the developing world, such as focusing on safety, could be important in the disseminated implementation of fluoride varnish.

Keywords:
fluoride, parents, varnish, Qatar

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