Parents Perception Toward Infants Teething in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Almatrouk, Sarah Fahad
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Background: Teething is a normal physiological phenomenon of the continuum of dental development during which the tooth moves from its intraosseous position within the jaw until it reaches the oral cavity. It begins around six months of age with the lower primary central incisors' eruption and is completed by three years. Many parents assume the certainty of the presence of signs and symptoms associated with teething. Aims: This study aimed to assess parental knowledge and beliefs regarding the teething process and investigate parental practices to alleviate symptoms associated with teething in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE). Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey conducted using a self-administered questionnaire distributed to parents in Dubai, UAE. The questionnaire contained three sections eliciting demographic characteristics and assessing parents’ knowledge, beliefs, and practice regarding teething. The chi-square test was used to analyse relationships (knowledge, beliefs, and practices) and (demographic characteristics). Kolmogorov-Smirnov test was used to measure the ii normality of the scores. A p-value of less than 0.05 was considered significant in all statistical analyses. Results: Overall, 323 participants were included in the final analysis, with the majority of the participants being females (mothers) aged 30-39 years old (39.6%). Increased drooling, desire to bite, gum irritation, fever, and sleep disturbance were the most reported symptoms of teething stated by 282 (87.3 %), 279 (86.4 %), 278 (86.4 %), 277 (85.8%), and 264 (81.7%) of the parents, respectively. Most of the participants, 194 (61%) reported that their child was moderately distressed. Around (39.9%) of the participants reported that their child distress lasted for more than a week. Our study found that (57.9%) and (36.8%) of parents received their advice regarding managing teething symptoms from relatives and pediatricians, respectively. The level of knowledge about teething was significantly associated with the participants' age with the middle age group having a better knowledge. (p-value= 0.045). Conclusions: Most of the parents had misconceptions about the signs that typically occur during teething. A common lack of knowledge about teething among parents should encourage dental healthcare providers to educate parents and other healthcare providers regarding the teething process and the management of its potential sign and symptoms.