Opinions of traditional birth attendants in Ibadan, Nigeria, towards reversal of eruption sequence of primary central incisors in infants


Introduction: Traditional birth attendants (TBA’s) have been a good medium for transferring health education messages in culturally acceptable ways. It is believed that they will be a good asset to demystify the misconceptions associated with reversal of eruption sequence in the community. Aim: To assess the opinions of TBA’s towards reversal of eruption sequence of primary central incisors in infants. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among all consenting TBA’s in the five urban local government areas in Ibadan, using a pretested 17-item semi structured interviewer administered questionnaire. Results: Forty eight (29.4%) respondents will be astonished at seeing children erupting upper primary central incisors before the lowers, while 25 (15.3%) will regard them as strange. Thirty five (21.1%) respondents felt this condition was due to evil spirits while 13 (8.0%) believed that child’s parents had breached traditional taboos. There was a correlation between negative beliefs about this variation and age (p = 0.038) and education (p = 0.020). Their opinion on the families of the affected children was hideous as (13.5%), (23.3%) and (27.6%) regarded it as a curse, embarrassment and abomination respectively and this was associated with their educational status (p = 0.014). Many (61.3%) of the respondents would advise the parents to hide or get rid of such children whilst (33.7%) advocated for extraction and only 8 (4.9%) felt child and the tooth should be left alone. Conclusion: Many of the TBA’s have dissenting mind-sets towards such children and their families. The practices of many of the TBA’s towards such teeth are disturbing and necessitate urgent intervention. The risks are that wrong advice may be given to such parents by the TBA’s and affected children may be deserted, abandoned, stigmatized and exposed to hazards. Older and less educated TBA’s have a greater tendency to believe these misconceptions.

Share and Cite:

Bankole, O. , Taiwo, J. and Falegan, A. (2013) Opinions of traditional birth attendants in Ibadan, Nigeria, towards reversal of eruption sequence of primary central incisors in infants. Open Journal of Preventive Medicine, 3, 374-379. doi: 10.4236/ojpm.2013.35051.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] [1] Pahkala, R., Pahkala, A. and Laine, T. (1991) Eruption pattern of permanent teeth in a rural community in northeastern Finland. Acta Odontologica Scadinavica, 49, 341-349.
[2] Gupta, A., Hiremath, S.S., Singh, S.K., Poudyal, S., Niraula, S.R., Baral, D.D. and Singh, R.K. (2007) Emergence of primary teeth in children of Sunsari District of Eastern Nepal. McGill Journal of Medicine, 10, 11-15.
[3] Choi, N.K. and Yang, K.H. (2001) A study on the eruption timing of primary teeth in Korean children. Journal of Dentistry for Children, 68, 244-249, 228.
[4] Guna Shekhar, M. and Tenny, J. (2010) Longitudinal study of age and order of eruption of primary teeth in Indian children. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry, 2, e113-e116.
[5] Avery, J.K., Steele, P.F. and Avery, I. (2002) Oral development and histology. 3rd Edition, Thieme Medical Publishers, New York, 132.
[6] Aderinokun, G.A. and Oyejide, C.O. (1991) Societal opinions on the eruption of deciduous maxillary central incisors before the mandibular ones in Nigeria. African Dental Journal, 5, 26-30.
[7] Denloye, O. and Osuh, M. (2011) Parental attitude to reversal of eruption sequence in Nigeria. 23rd Congress of the International Association of Paediatric Dentistry, 15-18 June 2011, Athens, 153.
[8] World Health Organization (2010) Classifying health workers. Geneva. http://www.who.int/hrh/statistics/Health_workers_classification.pdf
[9] Brennan, M. (1989) Training traditional birth attendants. Postgraduate Doctor, 11, 16-18.
[10] Campero, C., Garcia, Diaz, C., Ortiz, O., Reynoso, S. and Langer, A. (1998) “Alone, I wouldn't have known what to do”: A qualitative study on social support during labor and delivery in Mexico. Social Science and Medicine, 47, 395-403.
[11] Mathews, M.K., Walley, R.L., Ward, A., Akaidem, M., Williams, P. and Umoh, H. (1985) Training traditional birth attendants in Nigeria—The pictorial method. World Health Forum, 16, 409-413.
[12] National Population Commission Oyo State (2006) Census.
[13] Oyo State Human Resources for Health Index (2010) Department of Planning Research and Statistics. Ministry of Health, Oyo State.
[14] Mary Slessor. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Slessor
[15] Hill, C.M. and Ball, H.L. (1996) Abnormal births and other “ill omens”. The adaptive case for infanticide. Human Nature, 7, 381-401.
[16] Sargent, C.F. (1989) Maternity, medicine, and power: Reproductive decisions in urban Benin. 2nd Edition, University of California Press, Berkeley, 25-40.
[17] Mingi. http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mingi
[18] Uchegbue, C.O. (2010) Infancy Rites among the Igbo of Nigeria. Research Journal of International Studies, 17, 159-164.
[19] Kipkorir, B.E. and Welbourn, F.B. (2008) The Marakwet of Kenya: A preliminary study. 2nd Edition, East African Educational Publishers, Nairobi, 50.
[20] Bhatt, S.C. and Bhargava, G.K. (2006) Land and people of Indian states and union territories—Punjab. 1st Edition, Kalpaz Publications, Delhi, 322.
[21] Dosanjh, J.S. and Ghuman, P.A.S. (1996) Child-rearing in ethnic minorities. 1st Edition, Multilingual Matters, Clevedon, 61.
[22] Fennell, C.W., Lindsey, K.L., McGaw, L.J., Sprag, S.G., Stafford, G.I., Elgoraschi, E.E., Grace, O.M. and van Staden, J. (2004) Assessing African medicinal plants for efficacy and safety: Pharmacological screening and toxicity. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 94, 205-217.
[23] Heatherton, T.F., Kleck, R.E., Hebl, M.R. and Hull, J.G. (2000) The social psychology of stigma. 1st Edition, Guilford Press, New York, 153-243.

Copyright © 2022 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.