BACKGROUND. Dental caries has a significant impact on children’s wellbeing and overall health. Research has demonstrated mothers’ overall attitudes and attitudes towards their child’s oral health can impact on the child’s oral hygiene status. OBJECTIVE. This paper explores mothers’ perceptions around dental diseases and the impact on their children’s oral health practices. METHODS. A qualitative descriptive research design was utilised. A sample of seven mothers was gathered using purposive and network sampling. The data were collected through semi-structured in-depth interviews and thematic analysis was undertaken. RESULTS. The results from this explorative study found some mothers were able to acknowledge the link between overall health and oral health and were able to recognise that deciduous teeth were important. However, some mothers admitted they thought deciduous teeth did not matter as much, as they are eventually lost. This perception was a barrier to the implementation of oral hygiene practices. The recognition of dental diseases was adequate in the mothers; however, some perceived dental diseases were inevitable. The perceptions held by mothers impacted (barrier or facilitator) on the oral hygiene practices of their children. These perceptions included not enough time to complete oral hygiene practices, cost and traumatic nature of dental visits and a lack of information regarding children’s oral health. CONCLUSION. Children’s dental problems are of major concern, and mother’s perceptions influence their children’s oral hygiene practices. Therefore, the challenge is to incorporate these into intervention programs, as a change in these perceptions will improve the children’s dental routines.