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Dent Clin North Am. 2019 Oct;63(4):607-620. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2019.06.004.

Motivational Communication in Dental Practices: Prevention and Management of Caries over the Life Course.

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Department of Periodontics and Oral Medicine, University of Michigan, School of Dentistry, 1011 North University, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1078, USA; Department of Psychology, College of Literature, Science and Arts (LS&A), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA. Electronic address:


Dental caries and periodontal diseases are preventable. Nevertheless, they remain prevalent. Dental practices offer an ideal setting for educating patients about oral health-related behavior change. This article describes the motivational communication approach to changing behavior and applies it to a discussion of behavior change communication over the course of life. CONTENT considerations focus on on identifying high-priority behaviors for change; patient affect, behavior, and cognition related to these behaviors, and understanding in which stage of change the patient is. Process the four principles of the Motivational Interviewing approach by Miller & Rollnick to analyze oral health-related behavior change over the life course.


Dental caries; Dental patients; Dentist-patient communication; Health education; Life course; Motivational communication; Pediatric patients; Prevention

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