Individual and maternal determinants of self-reported dental health among Turkish school children aged 10-12 years

Ayse Basak Cinar, N. Kosku, N. Sandalli, H. Murtomaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Objective To assess the influence of maternal and individual characteristics on self-reported dental health of Turkish school children aged 10-12 years with different socio-economic backgrounds. Method A. cross-sectional study of children aged 10 to 12 (n=611) using paired matches of self-administered questionnaires for children and their mothers. Clinical examinations based on World Health Organization criteria were conduced. The participation rate was 97% (n=591) for the children, 87% (n=533) for the mothers, and 95% (n=584) for the clinical examinations. Multiple linear regression, descriptive statistics, Spearman correlation coefficient and chi-square test were applied. Results Private school children's mothers were more likely to have had higher education (95% at least high school) than public school children's mothers (11%); they reported better dental health (above average) than did mothers of public school children (p=0.001). Among all mothers, those with above average self-reported dental health reported more regular dental visits than did those with below average scores (p=0.001). Frequency of regular dental visits and toothbrushing among children attending public schools (5%, 65%) were lower than those attending private school (43%, 79%), (p=0.001). The mean DMFS was negatively correlated with self-reported dental health (rs =-0.187, p=0.001). Toothbrushing frequency and school performance were the common factors positively associated with self-reported dental health, among all children. Conclusion The results emphasize the important role of mothers and their socio-economic background in enhancement of children's dental health. Their active role in conjunction with the potential of self-assessment provides a good basis for establishing and improving self-care among children, in developing countries in particular.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-88
Number of pages5
JournalCommunity Dental Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Children
  • Dental health
  • Mothers
  • Oral health behaviour
  • Self-reporting
  • Socio-economic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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