Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Tegwyn Brickhouse

Second Advisor

Al Best

Third Advisor

John Unkel


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine infant oral health knowledge and readiness of expectant mothers to incorporate preventive oral health behaviors for their infants. Methods: The study used a prospective cohort design to examine the effect of prenatal education and motivational counseling with expectant mothers about infant oral health care readiness. Participants were all enrolled in a prenatal care program called Centering Pregnancy offered by VCU’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology. They all completed a pre-survey questionnaire, followed by a motivational counseling intervention, and then completed a post-survey questionnaire. Results: A sample of 30 pregnant women completed the pre- and post-survey. The participants were predominantly white (60%) who had finished college (67%) with an average age of 28.8 years. Based on the analysis of the readiness (RAPIDD scale) responses, the participants showed an improvement in their value for dental health with a p-value illustrating a significant overall change between the pre and post surveys (p < .02). The results for the knowledge portion of the survey demonstrated an increase in their infant oral health education, showing a significant change across time (p < .0001). The results to the last portion of the pre and post survey illustrated that the participants learned at what age to establish a dental home for their infant. Conclusion: This study has shown that with the proper educational tools parents are able to accept and improve their knowledge related to infant oral health and the prevention of early childhood caries.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2009