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Mothers of Young Children Frequently Receive Conflicting Information on Fluoride

A University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine study on how mothers obtain information regarding the use of fluoride found that social networks—composed of family members, healthcare providers, and community members—often provide conflicting information on the safety of fluoride and its role in caries prevention. The study of more than 125 mothers of children ages 3 to 5 residing in Pennsylvania and West Virginia demonstrated that the conflicting information hampered the ability of mothers to make informed decisions about their children’s oral health. The study authors suggest that oral health professionals need to listen to mothers regarding their concerns and be prepared to offset misinformation with evidence-based data on the pros and cons of fluoride use. The implementation of a family-based approached to oral health education as opposed to a one-way transfer of information was also suggested. Click here to read more.

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