Health professionals’ knowledge of oral health preventive practices regarding early childhood health care
Aim To assess the professional’s knowledge of a public health and family health specialization course in the city of João Pessoa (PB) regarding oral health care for children aged between 0 and 36 months. Subject and methods This was a descriptive cross study which adopted a structured questionnaire as data collection strategy. In all, 121 health professionals which were regularly enrolled in this specialization course were selected. Results Most of the subjects were women, working as nurses and aged between 20 and 35 years of age. The results have shown gaps in the understanding of preventive practices in children’s dental care, which could be interfering in the health care provided to children. Communication between parents and professionals from primary health care, especially during the prenatal period, is an opportunity for the establishment of early healthy habits. Issues that need to be addressed include oral hygiene, consumption of sweets, soft drinks and sugar-added beverages as well as non-nutritive sucking habits. The study has showed that workers need to be trained as regards oral health care in early childhood so that health care becomes more integrated. Conclusion It is concluded that there is a weakness in the understanding of oral health in early ages, making it important to train and integrate workers based on an effective exchange of knowledge and practices.