Oral health information for Appalachia-West Virginia children: a cross-sectional analysis

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Introduction—Time demands often impact the presentation of heath related educational material/information in rural dental practices. The purpose of this study was to determine if parents/guardians were receiving information with respect to a child’s dental needs, and if there were a relationship between the delivery of the information and the utilization of dental servicesin Appalachia-West Virginia. Methods—A survey was presented to parents/guardians of Appalachia-West Virginia children [n=62] regarding dental information provided by their dentist/dental hygienist. The data were analyzed with Chi-square, and logistic regression. Results—Summative score of the questions on the survey (Adjusted odds ratio=6.2 [95% CI=1.1, 35.4]; p=0.057), and parental education (p=0.057) remained associated in a logistic regression with a child having had a dental visit within the previous year. Conclusions—Exposure of parents to dentally related educational material/information provided by a dentist/dental hygienist was independently associated with dental visits. The implication is that there remains a need for dental professionals to actively educate their patients.