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VOLUME 13 , ISSUE 4 ( July-August, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Misconceptions and Cultural Practices toward Infant Teething among Mothers Visiting a Public Dental Hospital

Sanam Faheem, Rimsha Qasim, Syed JA Zaidi, Shahida Maqsood

Keywords : Hospital, Infant, Mothers, Teething

Citation Information : Faheem S, Qasim R, Zaidi SJ, Maqsood S. Misconceptions and Cultural Practices toward Infant Teething among Mothers Visiting a Public Dental Hospital. World J Dent 2022; 13 (4):406-411.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-2089

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 18-06-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Aim: The purpose of this study was to ascertain mothers’ awareness of the teething process in children, their associated symptoms, adopted cultural practices, and medicines given to relieve these symptoms. Materials and methods: A total of 115 mothers participated in this study that was conducted in the Dental Outpatient Department (OPD) of Dow University of Health Sciences from July 2021 to September 2021. The prevalidated adapted questionnaire consisting of 20 items which included mothers’ sociodemographic details, mothers’ awareness regarding the teething process, and cultural practices to relieve these symptoms was administered. Chi-square tests of significance (Fisher's exact test) were used with a 95% confidence interval while the p-value was set at less than 0.05 for statistical significance. Results: Out of 115, half of the mothers knew the completion dates of deciduous dentition, that is, approximately 3 years that was statistically significant with education. Fifty-two percent of the mothers expressed their concern when their children started teething which was correlated with education. Ninety percent of the mothers reported that teething was associated with different symptoms. Fever was the most reported symptom during teething followed by diarrhea and poor appetite. On worsening of teething symptoms, 61 (53%) mothers took their children to the hospital. Paracetamol was the most common medicament given by 59 (51.3%) mothers which was associated with their education and occupation. The majority of mothers did not associate teething symptoms with their older children and siblings and this was correlated with mothers’ education. Conclusion: In this study, awareness of teething symptoms was directly correlated with mothers’ educational levels. Misbeliefs of teething such as the association of diarrhea and fever with teething and the use of medicines for teething was prevalent in mothers having no professional education. Half of the mothers gave paracetamol during the teething period but some from the other half were dependent on harmful unregulated homeopathic drugs. Clinical significance: Mothers have wrongful beliefs regarding infant teething in Pakistan which endangers children's well-being. Harmful homeopathic drugs are being given for symptoms which have no relation to the teething process. Moreover, these misconceptions might delay accurate diagnosis of other ongoing diseases.

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