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Why has oral health promotion and prevention failed children requiring general anaesthesia for dental extractions?

Karki, A. J., Thomas, D. R. and Chestnutt, Ivor Gordon ORCID: 2011. Why has oral health promotion and prevention failed children requiring general anaesthesia for dental extractions? Community Dental Health 28 (4) , pp. 255-258. 10.1922/CDH_2596Karki04

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Objectives: Many children in the UK still require dental treatment under general anaesthesia (DGA). Why oral health promotion and prevention, in this cohort of children, has failed is poorly understood. By questioning the parents/carers of children undergoing DGA this study aimed to establish: 1 previous exposure to oral health education and promotion activities; 2 beliefs and behaviours about dental caries and prevention; and 3 what parents perceive useful in preventing dental caries. Basic research design: A cross-sectional questionnaire based study. Clinical setting: Dental general anaesthetic centres in Wales, UK. Participants: 207 consecutively attending parents of children aged < 10 years requiring a DGA. Results: In total, 150 (76%) parents/carers claimed to have received previous oral health advice and 103 (52%) had received toothbrushing instruction from a dentist. Only 18 (9%) reported the application of topical fluoride. Sixty seven (34%) believed "tooth decay runs in families" and 53 (27%) it was simply bad luck that their child had dental decay. The majority (89%) believed that information leaflets on oral health would be useful and 133 (67%) would find information on a website helpful. Conclusions: This study suggests that there is a significant scope for increasing the exposure of high risk children to fluoride. A sense of fatalism and erroneous beliefs were evident amongst some parents/carers of children needing DGA. These issues need to be addressed in the future design of oral health promotion/prevention activities.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Dentistry
Uncontrolled Keywords: dental general anaesthesia, fluoride, oral health advice, oral health, promotion, prevention, caries, deprivation
Additional Information: Community Dent. Health
Publisher: Dennis Barber Ltd
ISSN: 0265-539X
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 13:55

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