Oral Health Behaviours of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Barriers to Dental Care
This study compared oral health behaviours and barriers to dental care among preschool children with and without ASD, and evaluated dental knowledge and attitudes of their parents. 257 preschoolers with ASD and an age- and gender-matched control sample were recruited. Children with ASD had less frequently performed tooth-brushing and used toothpaste, but more often required parental assistance in tooth-brushing (p < .05). Barriers to dental care were more frequently reported among children with ASD (p < .001). Parents of children with ASD had higher scores in dental knowledge and attitudes than those without ASD. Differences in oral health behaviours and barriers to dental care existed between preschool children with and without ASD. Parents of children with ASD had better dental knowledge and attitudes.
KeywordsAutism spectrum disorders Preschool children Oral health behaviours Oral health knowledge Oral health attitudes Barriers to dental care
I would like to express my gratitude to Ms Cindy Yeung who organized the entire survey, Ms Samantha Li who provided abundant support in data analysis, all the parents and children who participated in this study and all the teachers, assistants who provided their and effort.
RYD principal and investigator of this research project, manuscript writting and editting. CKYY participated in the research project supervision, manuscript editting. NMK contributed to research project supervision.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the University of Hong Kong/Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster (HKU/HA HKW IRB) [IRB Reference Number: UW 11-184].
Informed consent was obtained from all the individual participants (parents of children with and without ASD) included in the study.
- Altun, C., Guven, G., Akgun, O. M., Akkurt, M. D., Basak, F., & Akbulut, E. (2010). Oral health status of disabled individuals attending special schools. European Jouranl of Dentistry, 4, 361–366.Google Scholar
- Lowe, O., & Lindemann, R. (1985). Assessment of the autistic patient’s dental needs and ability to undergo dental examination. ASDC Dentistry for Children, 52, 29–35.Google Scholar