Paola Olave-Müller; Valentina Fajreldin; Lorena Coronado Vigueras; Natalia López-Contreras & María Teresa Valenzuela


Almost ten years after the implementation of the successful public oral health promotion program for preschoolers in Chile, we present the previous study that collected the vision and meanings for parents about oral health issues of their preschool children in urban and rural Chile in seven different communities. The high prevalence of dental caries and their consequences throughout the lifetime in Chile has made health promotion a relevant strategy that allows facing the current health situation by implementing prevention-oriented programs focused on the pre-school level population, like the “Sembrando Sonrisas” program whose educational component focuses on parents and caregivers. In this line, it is worth mentioning the Health Beliefs Model (HBM), which acts as a predictor for the health practices that parents develop concerning their children, which can be activated and or modified by educational strategies or counseling provided by health professionals. This study seeks to explore, through qualitative methodology, the belief system around the oral health needs perceived by parents and caregivers of preschool children who participated in the testing of the Preventive Oral Health Program in pre-school level population in 7 counties of the country during 2007. The results obtained showcase that parents and guardians assign oral health care to third parties (dentists, pre-school educators) while reporting a lack of understandable information so that they can replicate practices in their children. On the other hand, postponing the visit to the dentist is justified due to previous bad experiences and lack of access to dental care services. However, dental health is relevant from an aesthetic point of view and as an element to overcome social prejudice.

KEY WORDS: preschool children, health behaviors, oral health.

How to cite this article

OLAVE-MÜLLER, P.; FAJRELDIN, V.; CORONADO, V. L.; LÓPEZ-CONTRERAS, N.; VALENZUELA, M. T. Needs, beliefs and practices in oral health of preschoolers’ parents and caregivers: A qualitative scope. Int. J. Odontostomat., 15(4):888-897, 2021.