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Pediatr Dent. 2005 Jul-Aug;27(4):284-91.

Infant oral health education for pediatric and family practice residents.

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Department of Pediatric Dentistry, School of Dental Medicine, University of Connecticut, Farmington, Conn, USA.



The purpose of this study was to investigate whether an infant oral health curriculum implemented in pediatric and family medicine residency programs could improve physicians' oral health knowledge and practice behaviors and promote the age 1 dental visit.


Residents and faculty members completed a baseline current practices survey and knowledge test before receiving a 1- or 2-hour training session followed by a knowledge post-test. Existing well child care forms were updated with oral health prompts to reinforce newly learned skills. At 1-year follow-up (1 YFU), participants completed a current practices survey and knowledge test. In addition to the residency programs, medical students and advanced practice registered nurses participated in baseline data collection, training, and immediate posttest data collection.


A total of 245 people participated, with 78% trained in person and 22% trained via the Web. Of these, 120 were the targeted residents and faculty-of whom 82% completed the 1 YFU. Practice behaviors improved from baseline to 1 YFU, with only 28% of practitioners at baseline referring children to the dentist at age 1, compared to 73% at 1 YFU (P<.05). Knowledge scores were greater at 1 YFU than at baseline (P<.05), and the mode of training showed no difference in knowledge outcomes. Knowledge and prescribing practices regarding fluoride were poor at baseline and showed limited improvement at 1 YFU.


An infant oral health education program can improve physicians' oral health knowledge and behaviors, particularly regarding promoting the age 1 dental visit. Behavior changes regarding fluoride prescribing, however, appear harder to achieve. Web-based training had similar success to in-person training.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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