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Int J Paediatr Dent. 1999 Jun;9(2):81-91.

Preventive oral health care and health promotion provided for children and adolescents by the Municipal Dental Health Service in Denmark.

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University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health Sciences, Department for Community Dentistry, Denmark.



To describe the current organization of health promoting and preventive activities within the Danish Municipal Dental Health Service and to assess how the service has chosen to comply with the directives as formulated by the National Board of Health.


A cross-sectional survey of the municipal dental health services was carried out on a national scale. Postal questionnaires were used to collect information on active and passive preventive care activities and community-orientated health promotion.


The survey was conducted to aid the reorientation and adjustment of the Municipal Dental Health Services in Denmark.


All municipal dental health services in Denmark were considered relevant for the survey and 141 services (71%) responded to the questionnaire.


Quantitative methods were used to measure recall-intervals for children and adolescents, passive and active prevention, identification of and care for individuals at risk, and health education. Qualitative methods were applied to record the organization of community health activities.


The majority of dental services stated that preschool children are called at regular intervals (every 3, 6 or 8 months); school-children and adolescents are most often recalled according to individual needs. Chairside assistants, dentists or dental hygienists give oral hygiene instructions systematically to children of grades 0 through to 3. Fluoride is frequently administered through topical application by dentists; fluoride tables are not used. Permanent molars are sealed when this is indicated. Clinical and socio-behavioural criteria are used to identify children at risk. Half of the services reported school-based health education, and in one-quarter of the municipalities community health activities took place. Adjustment of the services should consider population-directed activities and greater use of ancillary personnel.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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