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Parental attitudes and experiences of dental care in children and adolescents with ADHD - a questionnaire study

Journal article
Authors Marie Staberg
Jörgen G Norén
Mats Johnson
Svenny Kopp
Agneta Robertson
Published in Swedish Dental Journal
Volume 38
Issue 2
Pages 93-100
ISSN 0347-9994
Publication year 2014
Published at Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, Department of Psychiatry and Neurochemistry
Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre
Institute of Odontology, Section 3
Pages 93-100
Language en
Keywords ADHD, dental care, dental treatment, oral hygiene, questionnaire, DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER, ORAL-HEALTH, Dentistry, Oral Surgery & Medicine
Subject categories Dentistry

Abstract

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common psychiatric condition characterized by age-inappropriate levels of inattention, hyperactivity-impulsiveness or a combination of these. The aim of this study was to analyze parental attitudes to and experience of dental care, oral hygiene and dietary habits in children/adolescents with ADHD. Twenty-six parents of 31 subjects, 20 boys and 11 girls, aged 5-19 years with ADHD registered at the Gothenburg Child Neuropsychiatric Clinic, were invited. The parents answered a questionnaire regarding different oral problems when visiting the Clinic of Pediatric Dentistry, Gothenburg, for an oral examination of their child. The parents felt the dental care at the Public Dental Service was good, but noted a lack of knowledge regarding child neuropsychiatry among the dental staff which may influence the dental treatment. Fifteen parents reported their children had experienced mouth pain and 15 reported their child had suffered from both discomfort and pain from local anesthesia. Thirteen of the children had a dental trauma and 12 parents reported pain in connection to the dental treatment. Pain related to filling therapy was stated by 11 parents. According to the parents, five children suffered from dental fear but 15 reported the child had a general fear. Pursuant to the parents, the beverage for dinner was mainly milk or water, while sweet drinks were more frequent when thirsty. Seventeen; parents reported their children had poor oral hygiene or could not manage to brush their teeth and 14 of the 31 children only brushed once a day or less. The results show that the parents experience a lack of child neuropsychiatric knowledge, care and patience from the dental staff, which may influence the treatment. Oral hygiene/tooth brushing is neglected and the frequent consumption of sugar is difficult for the parents to handle.

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