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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 42-46

Knowledge, attitude and practice of pediatricians towards digit sucking habit among children in Pune, India

Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Dr D.Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Samiksha Shivanand Shetty
Department of Pediatric and Preventive Dentistry, Dr D.Y. Patil Dental College and Hospital, Dr D.Y Patil Vidyapeeth, Pune, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/aihb.aihb_138_21

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Introduction: Prolonged digit sucking habits can have deleterious effects on facial growth, oral function, occlusion and aesthetics, leading to dental and skeletal deformities. Early identification and intervention can result in a vast difference in treatment outcomes and avoid a complex, expensive, and time-consuming treatment in the future. Pediatricians are in a key position to identify these habits in children. The present study evaluated the knowledge, attitude and practice among pediatricians about digit sucking habits in children in Pune city, India. Materials and Methods: A pre-validated questionnaire was mailed to the study subjects. The filled 303 questionnaires were then statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results: This study showed that although the number of pediatricians performing routine oral examinations was high (92.7%), the referral to dentists was low. 67.5% of pediatricians referred their patients to a dentist only when they had an explicit dental complaint. Only 20.5% of pediatricians referred children with digit sucking habits to a dentist. 95.7% of participants agreed that treatment of digit sucking is important, but only 7% of pediatricians recognized the use of habit-breaking appliances as a treatment modality. Conclusion: We found that although the pediatricians had sufficient knowledge regarding thumb-sucking habits in children, the involvement and collaboration with dentists was very low. The majority of pediatricians felt there was a need for more awareness programs on oral habits. We conclude that more collaborations should be encouraged between medical and dental professionals.

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