Title: Oral health in children with Down syndrome: Parentsí views on dental care in Flanders (Belgium)
Abstract: Aim Evaluate the views and knowledge, regarding dental care, of parents who have a child with Down syndrome (DS).
Methods Parents of children with DS were invited to fill in a questionnaire. They were recruited by the Flemish Organization for DS, from schools for children with special needs and by four multidisciplinary medical DS teams at four University Hospitals.
Statistics Chi-square tests were used to test the correlation between different variables. Results were assessed in the 95% confidence interval with p<0.05.
Results Mean age of the children was 10.1 years old (SD: 5.3). Oral health was indicated as rather good by 53% of the parents. Of the children, 66% went to a dentist within the last six months. Most of the children (64%) received a dental examination. In 53% of the cases, parents visited the same dentist for their child with DS as their other child(ren) without DS. Eighty-three percent of the parents are pleased with their dentist. They expect the dentist to be kind and reassuring. Children aged 10 years or younger get significantly more help with tooth brushing (79%) than children older than 10 years (36%). However 20% of the parents never received any oral hygiene instructions for their child with DS.
Conclusion Prevention is the most frequent service provided by the dentist. Parents seem to be pleased with the dentist who treats their child with DS.