OBJECTIVES: To assess the impact of oral hygiene of preschool children and parental attitude on children's oral health-related quality of life (OHRQoL). METHODS: In this cross-sectional study, 396 children of Shiraz kindergartens were selected by a randomized cluster sampling. Children's oral hygiene was assessed using the Simplified Debris Index (DI-S) and a self-made questionnaire about oral hygiene habits. Children's OHRQoL was evaluated by the Farsi version of Early Childhood Oral Health Impact Scale (F-ECOHIS). The effect of oral hygiene determinants on OHRQoL was measured using Pearson and Spearman correlation, independent-sample t-test and anova. RESULTS: Children's mean DI-S and F-ECOHIS scores were 1.19 (+/- 0.77) and 19.36 (+/-8.42), respectively. Only 75% of the children had their teeth brushed once a day or more, and in 28%, toothbrushing had started before 2 years of age. DI-S values (P < 0.001) and frequency of toothbrushing (P < 0.001) had a statistically significant impact on OHRQoL of the children. Children's OHRQoL was also significantly associated with parents' attitude towards the importance of brushing deciduous teeth (P = 0.002). CONCLUSIONS: Oral health status of preschool children in Shiraz was less than optimal and had a significant impact on their OHRQoL. Therefore, improvement of children's OHRQoL could be achieved by improving their home dental care. Strategies promoting parental attitude about the importance of children's toothbrushing may significantly influence children's oral hygiene and are highly recommended.
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