Introduction Dental caries is entirely preventable, yet remains the most common chronic disease of childhood- affecting 50% of children under five in Wales. It is caused by acid produced by the bacterial metabolism of dietary carbohydrates, particularly refined sugars. Frequent squeal include: pain, infection, poor aesthetics and permanent teeth damage. Basic standards of advice to prevent dental caries exist.1 Ensuring medical staff have the knowledge to advocate appropriate oral care, and know when to refer to dental colleagues could reduce the burden of dental disease.
Aims To audit knowledge of staff regarding dental health care in children against basic dental guidelines1.
Methods Structured questionnaires were designed by paediatricians and dentists and administered to healthcare staff. These were based upon: dietary advice including limitation of fruit juices, toothpaste fluoride concentrations, brushing techniques, and frequency of dental visits.
Results 50 staff members were approached; 30 doctors and 20 nurses. 38% had more than 10 years’ experience.
Conclusions Our data demonstrates the current knowledge gap regarding basic dental advice. In response we have initiated training sessions for healthcare staff, provided space for dental examination in our admission proforma and developed a family/staff information leaflet, making these widely available.
http://www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/qrg83.pdf Prevention and management of dental decay in the preschool child. SIGN Nov 2005.