Infant Oral Care – A Survey Of Dentists Practicing In Delhi, India

Ruchi Nagpal., Anil Gupta., CM Marya1., Neeraj Nagpal and Pratibha Taneja

Introduction: Changing trends in occurrence of dental caries has made Early Childhood Caries
(ECC) a growing dental public health problem in India. Small number of pediatric dentists cannot
meet the demand of the entire infant population. General practitioners could play a crucial role in
preventing ECC by conducting early examination of infants. Hence the present study was conducted
with an aim to assess knowledge and practices of general dental practitioners regarding infant and
early childhood oral health care in Delhi.
Methods: The sampling frame was comprised of general dental practitioners practicing in Delhi.
Those who were specialized in pediatric dentistry were excluded from the survey. Data was collected
using a validated questionnaire. The survey consisted of different sections, including early childhood
oral health profile and practitioners knowledge of early childhood oral health. Descriptive statistics
and bivariate analyses were done to analyze the data
Results: A total of 192 (76.8%) of the 250 practitioners responded. Overall, infants and preschoolers
constituted < 10% of patients in the respondents’ practices. Not even half of participants were aware
of professional organizations’ recommendation about the timing of children’s first visit to the dentist.
On average, these participating dentists from Delhi thought children should visit the dentist by 3
years of age.
Conclusions: A significant number of dentists in Delhi are still unaware of the recommendation that
children should first visit the dentist by 12 months of age.

Download PDF: