It's Not Just a Tooth: A Poster Campaign to Promote Oral Health at SickKids
CPS ePoster Library. Zhao A. 06/01/17; 176633; 72
Alex Zhao
Alex Zhao
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Background: The majority of Canadian children have had at least one cavity, and rates are increasing. Cavities represent a chronic condition that causes local pain, inflammation, infection, and tooth loss.A multi-disciplinary team collaborated on a quality improvement initiative to increase knowledge and awareness around good dental health practices. Specifically, we sought to educate individuals by developing posters about recommended dental health practices in the first few years of life.

Objectives: 1. To develop posters promoting good oral health practices using three simple messages2. To explore parental and health care provider knowledge around oral health in young kids

Methods: We developed three posters with the following key messages adapted from the Canadian Paediatric Society's position statement titled: 'Oral Health Care for Children - A Call for Action'.Surveys were administered to health care providers (HCPs) and parents. The survey asked HCPs about dental health practices they observed in families admitted to hospital. Surveys directed at parents explored their awareness, knowledge, and application of good dental health practices towards their own children. We also asked parents how interested they were in learning more about the topic and what sources would be best (e.g. health care providers, pamphlets, websites etc.)

Results: 129 surveys were collected: 90 from HCPs and 39 from parents. The majority of individuals recognized dental health as in important child health issue. 90% of HCPs felt that assessment of dental health should be incorporated into hospital work flows. HCPs observed moderate adherence to the practices described in our posters. In contrast, the majority of parents reported better adherence than what the HCPs observed (figure). Generally, parents were knowledgeable and aware of good dental health practices (figure) but cited several barriers to this. Our surveys indicate that the posters were clear, facilitated learning, and well received. Lastly, most participants were eager to learn more about good dental health practices and HCPs represented the most trusted source for information.

Conclusion: Dental health practices varied between what HCPs observed and what parents reported. Given the high rates of cavities in Canada, further education for HCPs and parents will be important. Some HCPs and parents reported not being able to follow some of the recommendations due to their child's underlying condition (e.g. higher caloric demands in children with cardiac conditions). Nonetheless, the majority of individuals surveyed noticed the posters around the hospital and learned something new about good dental health practices in young children.

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