Purpose: The aim of this literature review was to examine the dietary advice practices of dentists and dental hygienists and to identify factors influencing whether practitioners provide dietary advice to patients.
Methods: A systematic search was carried out of the electronic databases CINHAL Plus, Medline via OVID and the Cochrane Library, using the search terms 'Diet', 'Nutrition', 'Dental hygienists' and 'Dentists'. Articles included in the review were all empirical studies and existing literature reviews examining the provision of dietary advice practices of dentists, dental hygienists and dental students. Only articles published after 1993 were included in the review to better reflect the current practices of dental practitioners.
Results: The literature revealed that dietary advice is rarely provided by dental practitioners, and that when dietary advice is provided it is often limited. The literature also established that provision of dietary advice is influenced by a number of factors, including financial considerations, time constraints and the dietary education of dental practitioners.
Conclusions: Further research is required to strengthen the findings from the review and to investigate dietary advice specific to the prevention of dental erosion. Additional research is also required to examine dental curricula and assess the dietary advice practices of dental students.