Oral health in the pediatric practice setting: a survey of Washington State pediatricians

J Public Health Dent. Spring 2004;64(2):111-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1752-7325.2004.tb02737.x.


Background: Pediatric health care providers may be the only source of preventive oral health education for families of young children who lack access to professional dental care.

Objective: We surveyed Washington State pediatricians in order to characterize their oral health-related educational needs and anticipatory guidance practices.

Methods: A 38-question survey was mailed to all 606 general pediatricians in Washington State. Topics included anticipatory practices and confidence in oral health-related activities.

Results: Of 483 eligible participants, 271 returned completed surveys (response rate: 57%). A median of 30 percent of the well-child visit was devoted to providing anticipatory guidance. A majority (83.7%) of respondents reported providing anticipatory guidance on oral health.

Conclusion: Washington State pediatricians are already involved in providing oral health anticipatory guidance. Certain factors are identified that should be addressed to allow pediatricians to promote oral health more effectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Child
  • Child Care
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dental Health Services
  • Health Education, Dental
  • Health Promotion
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Pediatrics*
  • Professional-Family Relations
  • Tooth Injuries / therapy
  • Washington