A qualitative meta-synthesis of carers’ perceptions of factors influencing preschool children’s oral hygiene practices—A social practices perspective 

Ivana Matic Girard, Paul Ward, Angela Durey, Caitlan McLean, Stephan Lund, Hanny Calache, Sarah R. Baker, Linda Slack-Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Objectives
 This study comprises a synthesis of published qualitative studies from developed countries on the perspectives of carers regarding the oral hygiene toothbrushing practices of preschool children, through the lens of social practice theory.
Methods
A search of the following electronic databases was conducted for all available years: MEDLINE, EMBASE and Global Health using the Ovid platform; Dentistry & Oral Sciences Source (DOSS), Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) and Scopus. Included qualitative studies reported primary caregivers' perceptions of oral hygiene practices (focusing on toothbrushing) in preschool children (0?5?years old) in developed countries. A thematic synthesis of the qualitative findings was undertaken for the results of each study.
Results
 Eleven articles were included in this meta-synthesis. The focus of this paper was toothbrushing practices. A conceptual map of toothbrushing as a social practice was developed. Key findings included practice elements (meanings, competences, and materials), spatial and temporal aspects, and barriers and facilitators to performance.
Conclusions
The application of a social practice lens to published qualitative research on the oral hygiene of preschool children provided insights into the meanings and competences related to toothbrushing, as perceived by primary caregivers. However, it also revealed limited information on material, spatial and temporal aspects of toothbrushing practices, indicating the importance of considering social practice theory as a framework in future research to address this gap. Furthermore, exploring toothbrushing in connection with related social practices has the potential to increase understanding of factors influencing oral health in preschool children.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Volumen/a
Issue numbern/a
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 May 2024

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