Parental knowledge in oral health status of their autistic child: A survey study at Bandung-Indonesia

Yetty Herdiyati Nonong, Fellani Danasra Dewi, Navaneetha Cugati, Prima Abigail Gayatri


Introduction: Raising diagnosed cases of autism demands special care for the children from their parents. There exist limited awareness among parents in Indonesia society, especially with regard to their oral health. Therefore this study aims to assess the oral health related knowledge, attitude and behavior of the parents; and oral health status of their autistic children in comparison with non-autistic children.

Materials and Methods: Total of 56 children (23 autistic and 23 normal) between 7 and 12 years were included in this study. Data on parents’ knowledge, attitude, oral health practice and behavior of their children were gathered from the questionnaires. The oral health status of the children was recorded using decayed, extracted missing and filled tooth (deft) and decayed, missing, and filled tooth (DMFT) caries index. All the obtained data were analyzed using SPSS version 13 to correlate the index of the sample.

Results: Chi-square test for parental practice of timings of brushing and management of toothache versus DMFT index in autistic children were significant. In the control group deft index versus parental reasoning for not consulting the dentist for their child’s toothache problem was significant. Mann–Whitney test showed “e” component of deft index for primary and all components of DMFT index for permanent teeth ass statically significant.

Conclusions: There is need of greater awareness to be spread among the population of Indonesia about the existing professional help for the special children and educate the parents to maintain their child’s oral health for a better general health.


Oral health; Autism; DMFT; Deft index


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