Main Article Content

Utilization of oral health services by mothers of preschool children in Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State, Nigeria

OA Adeleke
IS Danfillo


Objective: To determine oral health services utilization by mothers of pre school children in Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State, Nigeria

Design: Cross-sectional study

Setting: Four Primary Health Care (PHC) Clinics in Jos North Local Government Area

Participants: 200 mothers of pre school children

Materials and Methods: Mothers of pre school children were. proportionately sampled in four randomly selected clinics. Structured questionnaires were administered to them in order to obtain information on the utilization of oral health services, their reasons for visitation and non visitation

Results: Twelve and half percent (12.5 %) of the mothers reported to have visited the dentist before while only 4.5 % of the children of mother\'s surveyed had been taken to the dentist at least once. Literate mothers visited the dentist more compared to the illiterate mothers. All the illiterate mothers visited the dentist when there was a dental problem. All the mothers who were aged less than 20 years and their children had never visited a dentist. Cumulatively, 94 % of the mothers gave lack of perceived need as their reason for non utilization of dental services.

Conclusion: The study showed that majority of mothers based their dental visits on presence of a dental problem and perceived need. Further studies are needed on oral health services utilization to better understand the role of socio-cultural barriers.

Malawi Medical Journal Vol.16(2) 2005: 33-36