Parental Behaviours Related to Children’s Dental Health

    At the half-way point in the Québec Longitudinal Study of Child Development 1998-2002 (QLSCD, 1998-2002), this paper paints a portrait of certain parental behaviours related to the dental health of their children at the ages of approximately 5, 17 and 29 months. According to age, these include baby bottle practices, using a pacifier dipped in a sugary substance, consumption of sugary snacks, toothbrushing and taking fluoride supplements.

    Two of these behaviours are examined in more detail. The first, using a baby bottle containing a sugary liquid during the falling asleep or sleep period day or night, can foster the development of caries, while the second, toothbrushing, can protect the teeth when brushing with a fluoride dentifrice. A typology of baby bottle practices based on the contents and practices was developed. This typology was investigated for associations with various characteristics of the child at approximately 29 months, the family environment, parental behaviours regarding sleep and diet, and certain aspects of parent/child relations.

    The second behaviours examined was toothbrushing. A survival analysis identified variables associated with the age of introducing toothbrushing, and a Cox semiparametric model of regression identified factors associated with the early or late introduction of this habit in the child's life.

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