Background: Oral and dental health is one of the most significant branches of public health and its role in enhancing public health has been so much instrumental. The present study was conducted to explore the association of perceived susceptibility and self-efficacy with the decayed, missing, and filled teeth (DMFT) index in pregnant women.
Methods: The study population of the present cross-sectional descriptive-analytical study included 300 primiparous women in the first trimester of pregnancy. They had referred to private offices in Delfan in 2015. The data-collection tool was a questionnaire with three parts, namely demographic data, a DMFT checklist, and questions concerning knowledge, perceived susceptibility, and perceived self-efficacy, as three constructs of the health belief model (HBM). Data were analyzed using Pearson’s correlation coefficient, Spearman’s correlation coefficient, and the independent t-test (α<0.05).
Results: The mean age of the pregnant women in the study was 23.1 ± 3.9 years and their mean gestational age was 9.7 ± 2.9 weeks. Their mean DMFT index was 7.46 ± 4.59. The means of their decayed, missing, and filled teeth were 4.98 ± 3.38, 1.44 ± 2.39, and 1.07 ± 2.05, respectively.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the three constructs in the pregnant women were related to the DMFT index. Hence, by training pregnant women in oral and dental health based on the HBM constructs, we can increase their susceptibility and self-confidence in order to prevent the increase in the DMFT index and promote oral and dental health care behaviors among them.