BACKGROUND: This study aimed to assess the awareness of dentists and non-dental doctors regarding the benefits and risks of using fluoridated toothpaste.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A self-administered questionnaire was used to collect information in this study. Multistage cluster sampling method was used to enroll doctors in 5 districts or counties in Chongqing, China. A total of 403 doctors (160 dentists and 243 non-dental doctors) completed the questionnaire.
RESULTS: The awareness of the anti-caries efficacy and the usage of fluoridated toothpaste in dentists was significantly higher than those of non-dental doctors (P<0.001). Most (about 60%) dentists and non-dental doctors had concerns about fluoridated toothpaste. Only 31.3% of dentists and 25.9% of non-dental doctors had a good understanding of the benefits and risks of use of fluoridated toothpaste in children under 3 years of age to 49.4% of dentists and 73.3% of non-dental doctors did not understand the benefits and risks in children 3~6 years old, and 40.0% of dentists and 67.5% of non-dental doctors did not understand the risks and benefits in individuals living in high-fluoride areas. Most dentists (76.3%) and non-dental doctors (87.3%) did not understand the benefits and risks in pregnant women.
CONCLUSIONS: Dentists and non-dental doctors were concerned about the potential risks of use of fluoridated toothpaste, and they lacked adequate knowledge about the benefits and risks of use of fluoridated toothpaste. Health education is needed to improve doctors’ knowledge about use of fluoridated toothpaste.
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