Influence of oral hygiene knowledge and habits on dental fear in Croatian preschool children

Željana Matošić, Ana Novačić, Jurić Hrvoje


     Preschool age is defined as the time from age 3 to age 6. This period in a child’s life is when important attitudes and oral hygiene habits are developed and dental fear can be a severely limiting factor in dental health maintenance.

     The purpose of this research was to collect data on oral hygiene habits and the quality of dental fear with respect to preschool aged children, and to try to define statistically significant differences, with respect to age, sex and geographical background. The research was conducted by questionnaire method on 796 preschool aged children, ages 3-6, in two big cities located in different geographical areas (Split-coast area and Zagreb-continental area). Statistical data processing was conducted by implementing the χ2 – test. Statistical analysis showed that there is a difference in oral hygiene habits between children in Zagreb and Split, and also among children of different ages and gender: the older the children are, the less the parents participate in maintaining their children’s oral hygiene. By the gender girls show better oral hygiene habits. Furthermore, dental fear isn’t necessarily related to past dental experiences. This study demonstrated that children mostly afraid of the dental drill.


preschool age children, dental fear, oral hygiene habits, dental drill

Full Text:


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.