Parents’ Willingness to Invest in Primary Oral Health Prevention for Their Preschool Children
Abstract: There is growing evidence for the beneficial effects of starting oral health prevention early in life. Preventing dental caries in very young children requires considerable investment from parents. Therefore, this cross-sectional study aimed to explore parents’ willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to invest in time (WTIT) for primary oral health prevention in preschool children and describe whether these are related to the parents’ demographic, socio-economic and behavioural characteristics. In a convenience sample of parents of preschool children aged six months to four years (n = 142), data were collected with questionnaires. On average, parents were willing to pay EUR15.84 per month, invest time for 1.9 dental visits per year, and spend 2.4 min per day brushing their child’s teeth. A higher education level of the mother and having a child older than two were associated with a higher WTIT in brushing minutes per day (p = 0.03). In addition, parents who brushed their child’s teeth more frequently were also more willing to invest in brushing minutes (p < 0.01) and money (p < 0.01). Findings emphasise the importance of early oral health interventions and the need to increase awareness of primary prevention’s importance in maintaining healthy teeth and reducing possibly oral health inequalities.
|Published in||International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health|
|Key words||willingness to invest, contingent valuation, willingness to pay, preschool children, oral hygiene behaviour, dental caries, preventive dentistry|