Parents' perceptions of oral health, general health and dental health care for children with Down syndrome in Sweden

M. Stensson*, J. Norderyd, M. Van Riper, L. Marks, M. Bjork

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Aim To describe parental perceptions of general health, oral health and received dental health care in Swedish children with Down syndrome (DS). Methods Online questionnaire, quantitative data analysis (Chi-square test). Results Parents of 101 children with DS (52 boys, 49 girls, mean age: 9.6 years) participated. Seventy percent rated their child's general health and 74% their child's oral health as good or very good. Parents, who rated their child's oral health as poor (8%), also reported that dental procedures were difficult. Children received dental care at general (55%) and specialist clinics (53%). Ninety-four percent of parents of children receiving specialist dental health care were satisfied compared to 70% of parents with children in general clinics. The parents most valued characteristics of dental professionals were patience (63%) and their ability to engage the child (68%). Parents wanted multidisciplinary collaboration. Conclusion Most parents rated their child's general and oral health as good or very good. Children with poor oral health were also reported to have difficulties coping with dental procedures. Parents wanted dental care to be tailored to meet their child's unique needs. They wanted dental professionals to have knowledge about children with a need for special care. Lastly, they requested multidisciplinary collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-255
Number of pages8
JournalActa Odontologica Scandinavica
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 19-May-2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Dental health care
  • dental professions
  • Down syndrome
  • oral health
  • parents

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