Cariogenic Dietary and Toothbrushing Practices of Children During the COVID-19 Outbreak

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Keywords

COVID-19
coronavirus
children
diet
questionnaire
dental caries
Oral health
Toothbrushing

How to Cite

Aksit BicakD. (2021). Cariogenic Dietary and Toothbrushing Practices of Children During the COVID-19 Outbreak. Iranian Red Crescent Medical Journal, 23(3). https://doi.org/10.32592/ircmj.2021.23.3.331

Abstract

Background: The implemented COVID-19 prevention measures exert negative effects on children’s nutrition and education, with approximately 1.5 billion children kept away from schools during this time.

Objectives: The present study aimed to assess the changes in toothbrushing and cariogenic dietary practices of children who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: The study was conducted on parents with children aged 1-15 years in Turkey from 1-26 May 2020 which was a period of confinement and self-isolation. A web-based questionnaire was prepared and distributed via email and social media upon the request of parents. The questionnaire consisted of 10 items divided into three parts. The first part of the questionnaire included items regarding the demographic data of the parents and children, the second part contained some items about the cariogenic dietary practices of children, and the last part encompassed items on children's toothbrushing frequency before and during the outbreak. Statistical analyses were performed using the Number Cruncher Statistical Systems (NCSS) software.

Results: A total of 1013 questionnaires were incorporated into the final analysis. Based on the results, children’s intake of jam, honey, and molasses increased; nonetheless, their intake of sugar-sweetened, fruit-flavored juices, flavored milk, candy, and chocolate reduced during the COVID-19 outbreak (P<0.05). Moreover, no difference was found in the consumption frequencies of other foods and the frequency of toothbrushing of the children before and after the COVID-19 outbreak (P> 0.05).

Conclusion: As evidenced by the obtained results, the cariogenic food consumption of children was not high and even decreased during the pandemic. Although not perfect, it is evident that parents did not experience much trouble managing their children’s consumption of cariogenic foods and beverages during the time spent at home.

https://doi.org/10.32592/ircmj.2021.23.3.331
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