European Archives of Paediatric Dentistry

, Volume 14, Issue 5, pp 319–324 | Cite as

The role of paediatricians in oral health of preschool children in the United Kingdom: a national survey of paediatric postgraduate specialty trainees

  • M. KalkaniEmail author
  • P. Ashley
Original Scientific Article



There is little information available about oral health knowledge of paediatricians in the UK. The aim of this study was to assess the knowledge, training and attitudes of postgraduate (PG) paediatric trainees regarding oral health and determine the willingness to play an active role in promotion of better dental health in preschool children.


A web-based anonymous survey of PG paediatric trainees was sent to all 3,180 registered PG specialty trainees through their E-Portfolio by the Education and Training Support Team of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.


A total of 479 PG speciality trainees at different levels of training completed the survey, resulting in a response rate of 15 %. Seven questions assessed the related training and attitudes of the PG specialty trainees towards their role in children’s oral health. 96 % of respondents found the amount of training in oral health too little and 95 % responded they had not received any teaching during their training. Although 74 % of participants agreed that paediatricians should assess children’s oral health, 61 % rated their ability as below average. The last three questions inquired about more specific oral health knowledge. Regarding recommended fluoride concentration in children’s toothpastes in the UK, only 20 % of the PG specialty trainees responded correctly according to the current Department of Heath guidelines that it should be 1,000 ppm or more.


Although the surveyed PG specialty trainees overwhelmingly believed they should play an active part in promoting better oral health for young children, a reported lack of training and up-to-date information appears to limit their role in education of parents and prevention of oral disease at an early stage.


Dental health Paediatrics Health knowledge Attitudes Practice 



The authors would like to thank the education and training support team at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health for their help in distributing the questionnaire.


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Copyright information

© European Academy of Paediatric Dentistry 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Community and Special Care Dentistry, Dental InstituteKing’s College HospitalLondonUK
  2. 2.Department of Paediatric DentistryUCL Eastman Dental InstituteLondonUK

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