Are the Dental Guidelines for Early Dental Visits and Fluoridation Measures Supported by Pediatricians, and What Are Their Caries Prevention Efforts?

(1) Background: In Germany, new recommendations for dental examinations of children and the use of fluorides have been introduced. The pediatrician (PA) should refer the patient to the dentist for dental examinations and check-ups (DEs) from the sixth month of age. Therefore, our aim was to determine with a questionnaire the extent to which PAs find DE useful, make referrals for DE and recommend fluoride. (2) Methods: The nationwide empirical survey was conducted with a self-developed and validated standardized online questionnaire. In addition to personal information, 16 items were collected. Agreement with the items was recorded using Likert scales. The data were primarily analysed descriptively. (3) Results: 696 PAs participated in the survey (age: 51.7 (8.4) years, women/men: 428/286 (61.5/38.5%). A total of 11% of PAs found referral by eruption of first tooth very important (important/neutral/unimportant: 13.8/32/43.2%), compared to 70% for complete deciduous teeth (21.3/7.3/1.4%). A total of 48.8% of PAs always recommended fluoridated toothpaste from the first tooth (often/occasionally/rarely/never: 18.3/7.8/8/17.1%) and 50.6% completely refused to recommend fluoride-free toothpaste (always/often/occasionally/rarely: 9.8/9/14.7/15.9%). A total of 44.8% never recommended the use of fluoridated toothpaste if the child cannot yet spit (always/often/occasionally/rarely: 19.2/13.9/7.8/14.3%). (4) Conclusions: Among PAs, referral to DEs was increasingly implemented as children grew older. Specific fluoride recommendations were accepted.


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