Infant and toddler oral health: a survey of attitudes and practice behaviors of North Carolina dental hygienists Public Deposited

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  • March 22, 2019
  • Ruiz, Viviana R.
    • Affiliation: School of Dentistry, Division of Allied Dental Education, Dental Hygiene Master's Program
  • The purpose of this study was to evaluate the knowledge, comfort, practice behaviors, and stage of readiness and barriers of dental hygienists (DH) in North Carolina (NC) with respect to providing oral health care to infants/toddlers. A questionnaire was mailed to 2000 licensed DH practicing in NC randomly selected from the NC State Board of Dental Examiners database. The majority of respondents (99%) were female and working in private practice (94%). A high rate of DH are currently not providing care to infants/toddlers (59%), although two thirds of the respondents were contemplating the care for infants/toddlers. Significant barriers included lack of continuing education, unfamiliarity with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry guidelines, and current practice situation. DH highly value preventive care for infants/toddlers, however, strategies to increase comfort and diminish practice constraints should be considered to improve DH's stage of readiness to care for this population.
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Dental Hygiene Education in the Department of Dental Ecology, School of Dentistry.
  • Quinonez, Rocio B.

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