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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 1440-1446

Parental perception of fluoridated tap water

1 Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Hamad General Corporation; Department of Pediatrics, Section of Academic General Pediatrics, Sidra Medical and Research Center; Department of Clinical Pediatrics, Weill-Cornell Medicine, Doha, Qatar
2 Department of Pediatrics, Academic General Pediatrics Fellowship Program, Hamad General Corporation, Doha, Qatar
3 Department of Pediatrics, Pediatric Residency Program, Hamad General Corporation, Doha, Qatar

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohamed A Hendaus
Department of Pediatrics, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_192_18

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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate parental knowledge and preference of tap water in a country where faucet water is fluoridated according to international standards and where the average percentage of dental caries in young children reaches up to approximately 73%. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional perspective study was conducted at Hamad Medical Corporation, the only tertiary care and academic hospital in the state of Qatar. Parents of children older than 1 year of age were offered an interview survey. Results: A total of 200 questionnaires were completed (response rate = 100%). The mean age of participant children was 6 ± 4 years. One of the main finding in our study was that primary care physicians never discussed the topic of the best water choice for children in our community, as expressed by more than 86% of parents. More than two-third of parents used bottled water. The main concerns of why parents did not allow their children to drink tap water were taste (8.94%), smell (9.76%), concerns of toxins content (32.52%), and concerns that tap water might cause unspecified sickness (52.03%). Amid revealing participants that our tap water is safe and that fluorine can prevent dental caries, 33% of parents would you use tap water due to its fluoride content. The study also showed that 65% of parents would allow their children to drink tap water if it is free from any toxic ingredients. Conclusion: Actions to augment fluoridated water acceptability in the developing world, such as focusing on safety and benefits, could be important in the disseminated implementation of the use of faucet water. Ultimately, a slump in the prevalence of dental caries among children will depend on the ability of pediatricians and dental professionals to institute evidence-based and preventive approach that can benefit oral health in childhood. These data will also allow us to propose the use of tap water safely in young children in the state of Qatar while simultaneously advocating awareness of oral health.

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