Objectives: The purpose of this study was to determine knowledge, attitude, and practical behavior of health visitors regarding children's oral health in the United Kingdom (UK). Methods: A web-based self-administered survey with 18 closed and 2 open ended questions was distributed to a convenience sample of approximately 9,000 health visitors who were currently employed in the United Kingdom and a member of the Institute of Health Visiting. Results: A total of 1,088 health visitors completed the survey, resulting in a response rate of 12%. One-third of the health visitors reported that they had not received oral health training previously. Almost all agreed that oral health advice/promotion should be included in their routine health visiting contacts. Previous oral health training/education was associated with an increase in oral health knowledge; confidence in entering a discussion with parents/caregivers and willingness to be involved in dental referral process. Conclusions: The results of our study support the need for health visitors to receive oral health training in oral health promotion including oral health risk assessment, guidance on evidence based up-to-date prevention measures, increasing the dental attendance prevalence at early stages and awareness of including specific oral health guidelines/fact sheets into their regular practice.
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- child health
- community health nursing
- health visitors
- oral health
- public health nursing education