One in five children aged < 5 years has experienced caries, making it the most prevalent chronic disease in childhood. The failure to address a child's dental health can lead to short-term and long-term complications and problems with permanent dentition. Primary care pediatric providers are in the position to participate in the prevention of caries because of the frequency they see young children before establishing a dental home.
A retrospective chart review and two surveys were developed to collect data from health care providers and parents of children aged < 6 years about their dental health knowledge and practices.
While providers report being comfortable discussing dental health with patients, review of medical records shows inconsistent discussion and documentation of dental health.
There appears to be a lack of education regarding dental health among parents and health care providers. Primary care providers are not effectively communicating the importance of childhood dental health and are not routinely documenting dental health information.
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Published online: October 26, 2022
Publication stageIn Press Corrected Proof
The study was approved by The University of Alabama Institutional Review Board (approval nos. 19-04-2308, 19-04-2274, and 19-04-2213).
Conflicts of interest: None to report.
Copyright © 2022 by the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.