The aim of this study was to determine the level of oral health knowledge in 200 postpartum women attending an integral service for women of a private clinic in the northern sector of Santiago de Chile during the year 2011. We used a self-administered questionnaire based on 24 questions related to the level of knowledge of oral diseases, prevention, pregnancy, dental care and dental development. The cutoff score for being considered a good level of knowledge was higher than or equal to 14 points and regular cooperation between 7 and 13 points. The average age of the sample was 29.11 years (+ 5.71) and half reported having one child. 57% refers university education, 70.5% reported to be working and only a third received dental care during pregnancy. Thirty-five percent of puerperal women had a good level of knowledge and 64% had a regular level. The highest score identified was the knowledge on prevention in oral health and the lowest was health growth and development of dental. The mean age was higher in the group with higher level of knowledge. No statistically significant difference was observed between the level of knowledge and having received dental care during pregnancy (p = 0.635). The relation between level of oral health knowledge and parity (p = 0.367), educational level (p = 0.345) and occupation (p = 0.388) was not statistically significant. Using linear regression we analyzed the relation between level of knowledge score and other variables. The level of education of the mother (95% CI = 0.3:1.8, P = 0.007) and parity (95% CI = -0.1: 1.5, p = 0.05) were significant, but the confidence interval for parity does not reject the null hypothesis. Mothers with higher or technical level of education had 4.6% increased knowledge than mothers with lower level of education (1 point of knowledge, 95% CI = 0.3:1.8, P = 0.007). In conclusion, the level of knowledge of puerperal women was found to be similar to other Latin American countries, however the values found are far from those observed in developed countries. A significant number of pregnant women do not make use of their GES warranty for dental attention. Oral health education during prenatal care should be a priority for health services, both in terms of motivation as to promote healthy habits for the family.
KEY WORDS: oral health, puerperal women, education, GES.
How to cite this article
NÚÑEZ, J.; MOYA, P.; MONSALVES, M. J. & LANDAETA, M. S. Oral health level of knowledge and use of dental GES in puerperal patients at a private clinic, Santiago, Chile. Int. J. Odontostomat., 7(1):39-46, 2013.