Parent Knowledge and Attitude Regarding Primary Teeth

Nicole A Levine

Levine, Nicole A, Mirhadizadeh, Asal, Patel, Shivali, Noorani, Sepideh, Hajishengallis, Evlambia
Faculty / Advisor: Hajishengallis, Evlambia
University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences, Division of Pediatric Dentistry


The purpose of this study was to determine parents’ knowledge and attitude regarding the importance of primary teeth.


A 24-question survey was administered to parents who presented to the Pediatric Care Center at Penn Dental Medicine, in the United States (Group A) and the Pediatric Dentistry Clinic at the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences, in Harare, Zimbabwe (Group B).


One hundred and eighty-seven questionnaires from group A and 227 for group B were completed and used. The results showed that both populations lack in general knowledge, perceived importance of primary teeth, positive oral hygiene behaviors, as well as healthy eating habits, with the Zimbabwe group scoring significantly lower (P< .0001). Overall survey score was 74% and 47% for Group A and Group B, respectively. Group A scored the highest (77%) in the importance of primary teeth subscale and the lowest in the eating behaviors subscale (67%). Group B scored the highest in the general knowledge subscale (60%) and the lowest in the oral hygiene behavior subscale (41%). In both groups, it was found that the number of children in the family was not related to the survey score.


There is a significant difference in the knowledge and attitudes of USA versus Zimbabwe parents towards the importance of primary teeth. Both groups need to be educated on the significance of primary teeth and maintenance of the oral health in pediatric patients.