Knowledge, attitude, and practices of pediatricians about children’s oral health

Elham Bozorgmehr, Tayebeh Malek Mohammadi, Abolghasem Hajizamani, Aliasghar Vahidi, Fatemeh Khajoee

Abstract


BACKGROUND: Many pediatric oral diseases are preventable if physicians recognize and encourage preventive care and refer patients to dentists whenever necessary. Parents usually visit pediatricians for routine care during the first few years of a child’s life. Therefore, pediatricians have can assist dental professionals by educating parents to maintain their children's oral health. The main objective of this study was to determine knowledge, attitude, and practices of pediatricians about the oral disease prevention.

METHODS: A pilot questionnaire was completed by volunteer pediatricians and pediatric residents in Kerman, Iran. It comprised a series of questions including sociodemographic and practice characteristics, knowledge about the risk factors for oral diseases, attitude toward oral disease prevention, practicing preventive care for oral diseases, and information about oral diseases.

RESULTS: Overall, 60 subjects participated in the study. Less than half of the respondents knew all the main risk factors of dental caries, gingivitis, and malocclusion. There was also a positive attitude that caries can be prevented (100%). Less than 10% of the participants prescribed dietary fluoride supplements for their patients.

CONCLUSIONS: Although we found inadequate knowledge about oral and dental diseases among pediatricians, the majority of our subjects believed that they had an important responsibility in preventing oral diseases.


Keywords


Oral Health, Children, Pediatrician, Preventive Care

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