Early childhood caries (ECC) is a common chronic childhood disease with multifactorial etiology including poor parental dietary and hygiene behaviors.
This study aimed to assess toothbrushing-related perceptions among parents with immigrant background living in Norway.
A structured interview was performed with immigrant parents to assess their oral health-related knowledge, beliefs, and attitude toward toothbrushing. Immigrant parents of non-Western origin with newborn infants (0-6 months) were included in this study.
Of those interviewed, 66% chose to participate and they were found to have an average favorable attitudes, subjective norms, and strong perceptions of control related to child's tooth brushing with reported means of (3.3), (3.6), and (4.6), respectively. They had on average low indulgence (mean 7.8) with respect to this behavior and a relatively high level of knowledge (mean 6.9). Parents with strong intention toward toothbrushing (61%) had on average more frequent oral hygiene behavior than parents with weak intentions.
Parents with non-Western origin have adequate knowledge and intention toward toothbrushing, although some have an unsatisfactory attitude, which might affect the oral health of their children negatively. Culture and habits are contributing factors in ECC and should be addressed in oral health prevention policies.