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ORIGINAL RESEARCH Table of Contents   
Year : 2018  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 545-550
Habit-breaking methods employed by mothers of children with nonnutritive sucking habits resident in suburban Nigeria

1 Department of Child Dental Health, University of Nigeria, Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
2 Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
3 Department of Preventive Dentistry, University of Benin, Benin, Nigeria
4 Department of Surgery, Benjamin Carson School of Medicine, Babcock University, Ogun State, Nigeria
5 Department of Child Dental Health, Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife, Nigeria
6 Department of Dental Surgery, National Assembly Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Nneka Kate Onyejaka
Department of Child Dental Health, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Nigeria, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijdr.IJDR_404_16

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Context: Parents are often concerned about their children's nonnutritive sucking (NNS) habits and may institute mechanisms to try to break them. Aim: The study identified various methods instituted by mothers resident in a suburban Nigeria to break NNS habits of children, reasons for wanting to break the habit, and the association between instituted methods and sociodemographic profile of the mothers. Materials and Methods: The data of 129 mothers of children aged 4 years to 12 years who had NNS habits at the time of conducting a household survey were analyzed. Statistical Analysis: Tests of associations were conducted to determine the association between maternal age and level of education and methods employed to break child's NNS habits. Results: Eighty-four mothers (65.1%) made efforts to break the habit. Habit persisting to older age was the main concern. The most common method employed for breaking habits was punishing the child (54.8%).Only 7 (20.0%) mothers who were concerned about NNS habit(s) sought professional advice. A greater though insignificant percentage of mothers in the 25–34 years age group (57.2%; P = 0.48) and those with secondary school level of education (56.0%; P = 0.12) made efforts to break their children's NNS habits. Conclusions: The majority of mothers were concerned about their children's NNS habits. However, very few concerned mothers sought professional advice. Efforts need to be made to improve the public awareness about the availability of professional services for managing NNS habits and potential impact of employing nonprofessional methods to break habits.

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