Ciência & Saúde Coletiva
Print version ISSN 1413-8123
BARDAL, Priscila Ariede Petinuci; OLYMPIO, Kelly Polido Kaneshiro; VALLE, Ana Aída Lins do and TOMITA, Nilce Emy. Dental caries in children as a natural or pathological phenomenon: emphasis in a qualitative approach. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2006, vol.11, n.1, pp. 161-167. ISSN 1413-8123. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1413-81232006000100024.
The aim of this study was to verify the perception of parents about oral health conditions of their sons, from a day nursery in Bauru, São Paulo, Brazil. The study population was compound by 26 2-6 aged year's children and their mothers. The children were examined in their school and it was done an interview with the mother, father or responsible. The parents were asked about the presence of dental caries in their children and the possible causes of this oral disease. The answers were evaluated by means of qualitative analysis. Most of the answers (65.4%) showed concordance with the child clinical examination. The parents' perception about presence of dental caries was related to tooth appearance ("tooth leaky") and to ache. According to the parents, some causes of dental caries were related to the child dental care, dental assistance access, sugar ingestion, and to the fatality ("All people have dental caries"). The perception about oral health may influence the daily practices concerning oral health care. Thus, it is important to understand these ideas and perceptions in order to improve oral attention to children, against the belief that dental caries is a "natural" phenomenon and not a pathological process.
Keywords : Dental caries; Qualitative research; Preschool.