Oral health literacy in mothers of children with microcephaly

Tereza Maria Alcântara Neves1Orcid, Marcia Regina Soares Cruz2Orcid, Giselle Rodrigues de Sant’Anna Neves3Orcid, José Carlos Pettorossi Imparato4Orcid, Emanuelle Paiva de Vasconcelos Dantas5Orcid, Weslany de Oliveira Dantas6Orcid, Maria Nauside Pessoa da Silva7Orcid, Victor Cavallaro Bottesini8Orcid, Danilo Antonio Duarte9Orcid


The absence of oral health promotion actions aimed at the family of children with microcephaly is visible and contributes to the development of oral pathologies.
The majority of mothers of children with microcephaly associated caries with poor hygiene and gum bleeding with no brushing care.

The main results of this study
demonstrate a low level of literacy in
the surveyed population, and of the
total sample, the majority revealed a
low level of knowledge in oral health.


Aim: This study aimed to evaluate the level of knowledge and literacy in oral health of mothers of children with microcephaly. Methods: It was used a sample consisting of 74 mothers of children with microcephaly, under multiprofessional monitoring at the rehabilitation center for special patients at the Microcephaly Clinic of CEIR. A validated questionnaire was used to assess the mothers’ degree of knowledge about oral health and the BREALD-30 to assess the level of oral health literacy. Results: It was observed that most mothers (63.5%) studied between 8 and 11 years old. In most interviewees, family income was 1 minimum wage. There was a significant difference in the association between the level of literacy in oral health and family income (p <0.05) with a high level of literacy in oral health of mothers who had a monthly family income greater than 01 salary. Therefore, the low prevalence and severity of caries did not have a negative impact on health-related quality of life. Conclusions: The previous knowledge of literacy in the studied population contributes to a better communication between the professional and the family nucleus. As well as guides health promotion actions directed to children with microcephaly.

Keywords: Child; Health Literacy; Microcephaly; Oral Health

Author Affiliations

  1. PhD, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Centro Universitário UNINOVAFAPI, Brazil
  2. PhD, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Centro Universitário Santo Agostinho, Brazil
  3. PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, São Leopoldo Mandic College, Brazil
  4. PhD, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, University of São Paulo, Brazil
  5. PhD, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Centro Universitário Uninassau Redenção, Brazil
  6. Master, Department of Dentistry, Centro Universitário Uninassau Redenção, Brazil
  7. PhD, Department of Health Biotechnology, Centro Universitário Uninassau Redenção, Brazil
  8. Master’s Student, Department of Restorative Dentistry, São Paulo State University, Brazil ( Correspondence: victorbottesini@gmail.com)
  9. PhD, Department of Pediatric Dentistry, São Leopoldo Mandic College, Brazil
  1. Schuler-Faccini L, Ribeiro EM, Feitosa IML, Horovitz DDG, Cavalcanti DP, Pessoa A, et al. Possível associação entre a infecção pelo vírus zika e a microcefalia — Brasil, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2016;65:1–4
  2. Ambrogi IG, Brito L, Diniz D. The vulnerabilities of lives: Zika, women and children in Alagoas State, Brazil. Cad Saúde Pública 2020;36:00032020
  3. Moro J da S, Marega T, Romagnolo FU. Microcephaly caused by the Zika virus: dental care. Rev Gaúch Odontol 2019;67:2019001
  4. Cruz MRS, Neves TMA, Neta NBD, Silva JR da, Duarte DA, Imparato JC, Sant’Anna GR de. Oral conditions of children with microcephaly. Oral conditions of children with microcephaly. Braz J Health Rev 2021;4:8378–8396
  5. Santos-Pinto CDB, Soares-Marangoni D de A, Ferrari FP, Ajalla MEA, Venancio FA, Rosa TS da, et al. Health demands and care of children with congenital Zika syndrome and their mothers in a Brazilian state. BMC Public Health 2020;20:1–10
  6. Cruz MRS, Neves TMA, Neta NBD, Duarte DA, Imparato JCP, Sant’Anna GR de. Impacto das condições bucais na qualidade de vida relacionada à saúde bucal de crianças com microcefalia. Int J Dev Res 2021;11:43519–43525
  7. Dieng S, Cisse D, Lombrail P, Azogui-Lévy S. Mothers’ oral health literacy and children’s oral health status in Pikine, Senegal: A pilot study. PLoS One 2020;15:0226876
  8. Belila N de M, Martins RJ, Garbin CAS, Borghi WMMC. Socioeconomic level and the parents’ perception of the impact of oral diseases on their children’s quality of life. Braz J Oral Sci 2017;15:171–175
  9. Baskaradoss JK. Relationship between oral health literacy and oral health status. BMC Oral Health 2018;18:172-180
  10. Junkes MC, Fraiz FC, Sardenberg F, Lee JY, Paiva SM, Ferreira FM. Validity and Reliability of the Brazilian Version of the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry–BREALD-30. PLoS One 2015;10:0131600
  11. Barbieri W, Peres SV, Pereira C de B, Neto JP, Sousa M da LR de, Cortellazzi KL. Sociodemographic factors associated with pregnant women’s level of knowledge about oral health. Einstein (Sao Paulo) 2018;16:AO4079
  12. Leão JC, Gueiros LA, Lodi G, Robinson NA, Scully C. Zika virus: oral healthcare implications. Oral Dis 2017;23:12–17
  13. Teixeira GA, Silva AN da, Miranda LSMV de, Silva MPM da, Cavalcante EF de O, Enders BC. Theoretical care model for children with congenital Zika virus syndrome in the family context. Rev Lat-Am Enferm 2021;29:3458
  14. Siqueira RMP de, Marinho ABA da S, Santos MTBR dos, Cabral GMP. Dental care for children with Congenital Zika Syndrome. Rev Gaúch Odontol 2020;68:20200014
  15. Sowmya KR, Puranik MP, Aparna KS. Association between mother’s behaviour, oral health literacy and children’s oral health outcomes: A cross-sectional study. Indian J Dent Res 2021;32:147–152
  16. Vilella KD, Assunção LR da S, Junkes MC, Menezes JVNB de, Fraiz FC, Ferreira F de M. Training and calibration of interviewers for oral health literacy using the BREALD-30 in epidemiological studies. Braz Oral Res 2016;30:90-95
  17. Jr WFV, Lee JY, Baker D, Divaris K. Oral health literacy among female caregivers: impact on oral health outcomes in early childhood. J Dent Res 2010;89:1395–1400
  18. Garnica-Palazuelos JC, Bermudez M, Cota-Quintero JL, Bueno-Acuña G, Santana-Delgado S, Larrinua-Pacheco A, et al. Assessment of oral health literacy of principal caregivers and its association with dental caries in Mexican disabled pediatric patients. Contemp Pediatr Dent 2021;2:151–157
  19. Vilella KD, Alves SGA, Souza JF de, Fraiz FC, Assunção LR da S. The Association of Oral Health Literacy and Oral Health Knowledge with Social Determinants in Pregnant Brazilian Women. J Community Heal 2016;41:1027–1032

Article Info

Contemp Pediatr Dent 2022:3(1):15-23

Received: 10 February 2022

Accepted: 22 March 2022

Online First: 23 March 2022


Full Text

File Downloads
pdf CPD_2022_100 1368

How to Cite

					Tereza Maria Alcântara Neves, Marcia Regina Soares Cruz, Giselle Rodrigues de Sant’Anna Neves, José Carlos Pettorossi Imparato, Emanuelle Paiva de Vasconcelos Dantas, Weslany de Oliveira Dantas, Maria Nauside Pessoa da Silva, Victor Cavallaro Bottesini, Danilo Antonio Duarte. Oral health literacy in mothers of children with microcephaly. Contemp Pediatr Dent 2022:3(1):15-23

Related Articles

Share Article

Under a Creative Commons license