Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 49, Issue 2, pp 453–459 | Cite as

Oral Health Behaviours of Preschool Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Their Barriers to Dental Care

  • Rennan Yanlin DuEmail author
  • Cynthia K. Y. Yiu
  • Nigel M. King
Original Paper


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.


Autism 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.

Author Contributions

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.

Ethical Approval

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

Informed consent was obtained from all the individual participants (parents of children with and without ASD) included in the study.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Paediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Faculty of DentistryThe University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health SciencesUniversity of Western AustraliaPerthAustralia

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