Infant oral health care: beliefs and practices of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry members
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to survey American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) members about their beliefs and practices regarding the age 1 dental visit. METHODS: A 31-item survey was mailed to 1,500 randomly selected AAPD members to assess their beliefs and practices regarding the age 1 dental visit and prenatal dental counseling. Descriptive analyses and chi-square tests were done to analyze the data. RESULTS: Five hundred fifty-four (~37%) surveys were returned; 496 (91%) respondents agreed with the AAPD Policy on the Dental Home, while 490 (~90%) respondents performed age 1 dental evaluations. The most commonly cited reason respondents gave for not performing infant evaluations was "parents do not see the value." Eighty-five (~15 %) respondents provided prenatal dental counseling to members in their community, and 250 (~51%) who performed infant oral evaluations inquired about parents' dental history. Younger, more recently trained pediatric dentists were more likely to agree with the policy compared to older, more experienced pediatric dentists. CONCLUSIONS: Most respondents agreed with the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry's Policy on the Dental Home and performed infant oral evaluations. Few respondents (15%) provided prenatal dental counseling to individuals/groups in their community.