Author(s): Clark SJ, Duong S, Fontana M
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Abstract Purpose. To describe the perspectives of general dentists regarding oral health care for children ≤3 years. Methods. Mailed survey of 444 general dentists in Michigan. Results. Although most dentists were aware of recommendations for early dental visits, only 36\% recommended their own patients begin dental visits by 1 year of age. Only 37\% dentists felt that screening for oral health problems can be done by medical providers, whereas 34\% agreed administration of fluoride varnish by medical providers would be effective in preventing dental problems in young children. Conclusions. Dentists' failure to recommend 1-year dental visits is due neither to lack of awareness nor to capacity problems. The limited enthusiasm for involving children's medical providers in oral health promotion signals attitudinal barriers that must be overcome to improve children's oral health. Primary care providers should identify and refer to dentists in their community who are willing to see young children.
This article was published in Glob Pediatr Health
and referenced in Pediatric Dental Care