Exploring attitudes of parents and teachers towards promoting oral health in children

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This study aimed to explore the perceptions of teachers and
parents of infant school children in primary schools serving
affluent and deprived populations of oral health promotion
services in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. A focus group of
parents, a face-to-face interview with one parent and individual
face-to-face interviews with headteachers and one reception
teacher from each school were conducted. A 12-item interview
schedule was devised in which face and content validity was
established. A thematic analysis was undertaken and seven
themes emerged from the analysis of the data: responsibility;
the dentist; the role of the health visitor and school nurse; school
policy; oral health education; positive role-modelling; and
the Welsh government initiative, Designed to Smile. Confused
messages were reported by both teachers and parents, suggesting
that different approaches are needed in the delivery of oral
health promotion. Health visitors and school nurses are best
placed to take the lead in preschool, school children, young
people and their families, communicating clear, accurate,
consistent and unambiguous evidence-based information about
oral health.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)402-409
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Health Visiting
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2017


  • Oral health promotion
  • Oral health risk factors
  • Behaviour change
  • Designed to Smile


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