Objective: To assess associations between caregiver oral health literacy (OHL) and socioeconomic factors, child and caregiver’s oral health behaviors and perceptions of oral health status. Basic research design: Cross-sectional study. Clinical setting: University pediatric dentistry clinic. Participants: 205 pairs of caregivers and children aged 6 to 12-years undergoing dental treatment. Method: A questionnaire was sent to caregivers enquiring about socioeconomic factors, oral health behaviors, perceptions of own and child oral health. The clinical dental status of the children was recorded with the DMFT/dmft index. Main outcome measure: OHL was measured by the Brazilian version of the Rapid Estimate of Adult Literacy in Dentistry (BREALD-30). Descriptive analysis, unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression, odds ratio and confidence interval were calculated considering a significance level of 5%. Results: The frequency of poor OHL was 21%. In adjusted analysis caregivers with 8 years or less of schooling had a 3.72 (95% CI 1.74-7.95) times greater chance of have poor OHL. Caregivers who perceived their child to have poor oral health were 2.70 (95% CI 1.10-6.63) times more likely to have poor OHL. Conclusions: Poor oral health literacy was more common among caregivers with less schooling and a poor perception of their child’s oral health. OHL was unrelated to monthly family income, child dental health status, perception of own oral health or child or caregiver oral health behaviors. Keywords: health literacy; oral health; children; health behavior.
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