Oral health knowledge, attitude, and status and oral health index among midwifery students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran

Document Type: Original Article(s)


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Community Oral Health, School of Dentistry, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Postgraduate Student, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences, Hamadan, Iran

3 Dentist, Tehran, Iran


BACKGROUND AND AIM: All primary care providers contribute to oral health promotion of the community, especially when they are more frequently visited by individuals compared to dentists. The aim of the present study was to assess midwifery students’ knowledge on and attitude toward oral health promotion of pregnant women and its relationship with the students’ own oral health status and their backgrounds. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, a questionnaire was distributed among all midwifery students of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (n = 104). The questions consisted of information on their demographic data and knowledge on and attitude toward oral health during pregnancy. The students’ oral health status was assessed in terms of decayed, missing or filled teeth (DMFT), community periodontal index of treatment need (CPITN), and plaque index (PI). The data were analyzed by Kruskal-Wallis, ANOVA, NPAR tests, and logistic regression analysis. RESULTS: The mean scores of the students’ knowledge about oral health were 5.2 ± 0.9 (maximum score = 8), attitude toward oral health 22.4 ± 4.8 (maximum score = 40), and attitude toward oral health of pregnant women 67.5 ± 11.5 (maximum score = 120). The mean DMFT was 4.55 (SD = 3.19), max CPITN was 1.48 (SD = 0.81) and PI was 0.9 (SD = 0.46). There was a significant relationship between oral health attitude and students’ mean DMFT, PI, and max CPITN (P = 0.005, P = 0.005, and P = 0.011), but there was no significant relationship between these indices and the knowledge of the students. CONCLUSION: The students seemed to have limited oral health knowledge and fairly negative attitudes, while better oral health status was related to a more positive attitude among them. Negative oral health attitude could affect their role in education of patients; therefore, it is necessary to incorporate oral health promotion educations in their curriculum.