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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 316-323

Impact of COVID-19 quarantine on oral health among pediatric patients and the parental attitude towards dental treatment at King Abdulaziz University: An observational study

1 Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
2 Faculty of Dentistry King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Ghidaa Mouawad
Faculty of Dentistry King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jioh.jioh_267_21

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Aim: The Saudi government implemented a lockdown from March to August 2020 to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. As a result of the lockdown, it was possible for children to improve or develop detrimental eating habits. In addition, parental fear and anxiety may change their attitude toward dental visits. The present study was conducted to assess the pandemic’s impact on oral health in pediatric patients due to dietary choices, oral hygiene, and parental fear and anxiety of getting the infection by COVID-19 from dental visits. Patients and Methods: An observational study, included children with mixed dentition and their parents who have been seen at King Abdulaziz University Dental Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia before the quarantine and came back after the quarantine to the dental clinics to continue dental treatments. Demographic data, diet evaluation, plaque index, dmfs, and DMFS scores were obtained from the electronic dental record systems from the time periods of before and after the lockdown. In addition, a retrospective diet evaluation during the pandemic and a parental fear and anxiety questionnaire were obtained by telephone interview. Results: A total of 52 children met the study’s criteria. During the quarantine, most children did not take their required amount of the basic foods. In particular, vegetable consumption deteriorated during the pandemic (P = 0.048). Moreover, there was a significant increase in the consumption of lollipops and candy bars as snacks (P = 0.039). Scores of dmft/DMFT and dmfs increased significantly during the quarantine compared to the time period before the pandemic (p=0.001). About 44.2% of parents thought the dental treatment could expose their child to become infected by COVID-19. However, 88.5% of them reported more confidence in visiting dental clinics if they were assured dental clinics are implementing high standard protective measurement against COVID-19. Conclusion: Children had more cariogenic snacks and parents’ confidence increased after knowing the protective measures in dental clinic.

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