THE EFFECT OF MOTHERS PAST DENTAL EXPERIENCE ON THE BEHAVIOUR OF SOME NIGERIAN CHILDREN DURING DENTAL TREATMENT|
O. O. BANKOLE, O. O. DENLOYE, G. A. ADERINOKUN
The objective of this study was to assess the effect of the mother's past dental experience on the behaviour of some Nigerian children during dental treatment. Two hundred and sixty children aged 3 - 15 years participated in this study. They were treated at the three government dental establishments in Ibadan, a city in southwestern Nigeria, over a six-month period. The children's behaviour during different stages of treatment were determined by the Frankl's Behaviour Rating Scale. The outcome of the study revealed that the mother's past dental experiences were found to influence the children's behaviour at the initial steps of treatment. On entering the operatory, 92.5% of the children whose mothers had pleasant memories of their dental experiences reacted positively in comparison to 60% who had mothers with previous traumatic experiences (p<0.05). During examination, 92.5% of children whose mothers enjoyed dental treatment in the past complied, while 68.0% who had mothers with past negative experiences were cooperative (p<0.05). Behaviour of children at latter stages of treatment revealed a tendency towards improved behaviour where the mothers past dental experiences had been pleasurable. From this study, it has been established that enquiring into the mother's past dental experience, among other things, is important for successful child dental care. Even though it was significant only at the preliminary stages of treatment, it would appear that these stages are the most critical in gaining the childs confidence and getting him accustomed to the clinic environment. In circumstances where mother's past dental experience has been negative, the dentist will need to educate, counsel and allay the fears, which may have persisted in such parents for years. This will help reassure the parents as the mothers cooperation will be needed in order to provide the children with the best dental care. Where the mothers' unpleasant dental experiences had influenced the childs behaviour negatively, efforts should be geared towards instituting appropriate behaviour management skills in these children in order to bring about a higher level of compliance during dental visits.
Dental, treatment, Experience, Mother, Past, Fear, Child