The impact of community workshops on improving early childhood oral health knowledge

Pediatr Dent. 2010 Mar-Apr;32(2):110-7.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of community workshops designed to equip participants with early childhood oral health (ECOH) knowledge and early childhood caries (ECC) prevention.

Methods: Convenience sample of individuals working with infants and preschool children attending an ECOH training workshop completed a questionnaire before the workshop. One month later, participants completed a follow-up questionnaire. A P-value </=.05 denoted significance.

Results: One hundred eight participants from southern Manitoba, Canada, completed the initial survey, while 67% completed the postworkshop questionnaire. Initially, many were unfamiliar with the recommended age of a first dental visit, assessing caries-risk, and identifying early stages of decay. Following the workshop, there was a 16% increase in the proportion of correct answers and a significant improvement in the number of correct choices (P<.01). Some questions showing considerable improvement included: when children should first visit the dentist (P<.001); mother having active decay placing their infant at high risk for caries (P<.001); and age until caregivers should supervise tooth-brushing (P<.001). Self-reported data suggests participants changed behaviors as a result of what they learned.

Conclusions: Capacity-building workshops increased oral health knowledge and self-reported behaviors. This provides support that nondental professionals can effectively provide oral health education.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Child Care*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Dental Caries / pathology
  • Dental Caries / prevention & control
  • Dental Caries Susceptibility
  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Education, Public Health Professional
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Manitoba
  • Oral Health*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tooth, Deciduous / pathology


  • Dietary Sucrose