Parental Response to Child Eating Problems

  • TAMURA Fumiyo
    The Committee of Emphasis Study, Japanese Association for Dental Science Division of Rehabilitation for Speech and Swallowing Disorders,The Nippon Dental University Tama Oral Rehabilitation Clinic
  • KIMOTO Shigenari
    The Committee of Emphasis Study, Japanese Association for Dental Science Division of Pediatric Dentistry, Department of Oral Function and Restoration, Graduate School of Dentistry, Kanagawa Dental University
  • YAMASAKI Youichi
    The Committee of Emphasis Study, Japanese Association for Dental Science Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Kagoshima University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences

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Other Title
  • 保護者が感じている子どもの食の問題と歯科医療の役割

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<p>This study aimed to clarify eating problems encountered in infants and young children that cause concern in their parents, as well as the importance of dental support for managing eating problems in children. A structured questionnaire was sent to 1001 dentists working as pediatric dentistry administrators,who were randomly selected by prefectural or municipal dental associations, and 1031 parents of preschool-aged children attending kindergarten or day-care centers recommended by the Committee of Emphasis Study, Japanese Association for Dental Science. Of those, 712 dentists and parents of 844 children provided informed consent to participate in this study. A chi-square test was used to analyze differences among several factors included in the questionnaire, by comparing responses between parents of infants and young children, and between children with and without eating problems. Logistic regression analysis with a stepwise forward selection method, adjusted for covariates, was used to calculate the odds ratios (ORs) of factors associated with eating problems of infants and young children. The ethics committee of the Japanese Association for Dental Science reviewed and approved the study protocol, which was performed in compliance with the Declaration of Helsinki and each study participant signed a detailed informed consent form. The risk of eating problems was increased in children who had experienced difficulties during the weaning period (OR=3.18, p<0.001), were light eaters (OR=8.48, p<0.001), and/or did not eat regular types of meals (OR=2.46, p=0.03). The most common reason for counseling noted by parents was “occlusion”. Our results suggested that several factors might be associated with feelings of anxiety by parents regarding eating problems experienced by their children. Parents were quite interested in the amount of nutritious food ingested and types of meals needed for acquisition of acceptable feeding function. Furthermore, there were discrepancies in perspectives regarding the roles of dentists between parents and the dentists themselves. We concluded that dentists should contribute to managing the eating problems of children from the viewpoint of social child-rearing.</p>



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