Internet information on child oral health and the first dental visit

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Abstract

Background

This study evaluated the available online information regarding a child's first dental visit (CFDV) and compares this with internationally recognized guidelines for the timing of CFDV.

Methods

Online information regarding CFDV was searched using the Google search engine under the Australian domain for four selected search terms and limited to the first 50 results. The websites of selected professional dental associations were also investigated for recommended CFDV timing. Guidelines recommended the CFDV from when the first tooth erupts or by the age of one year.

Results

Information on timing for CFDV was available on the internet and consistent with recognized guidelines for almost half of the 157 sites examined. Information on CFDV was consistent with guidelines when mentioned in professional dental association and public (government and corporate) sites. Misinformation regarding CFDV was primarily associated with dental forums and sites owned by dental professionals. The three most popular topics of additional information included oral hygiene instruction, procedures for age-one CFDV and preparing the child for the CFDV.

Conclusions

Internet information regarding a child's first dental visit was generally informative but not always in agreement with the recommendations of professional dental associations. Misinformation regarding CFDV was primarily associated with dental forums and dental professional owned sites.

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