In Malaysia, Early Childhood Caries (ECC) was found to affect 76.2 of 5-year-olds (2005). General
practitioners are more likely to encounter preschool children and are in a better position to educate parents and caretakers
about ECC and make appropriate referrals. This study assessed the knowledge and opinions on early childhood oral health
among medical and dental undergraduates.
This cross sectional study involved 245 students
enrolled in the first year medical (M1) and dental (D1) course and fourth year medical (M4) and dental (D4) course. The
students completed a self-administered questionnaire which included knowledge and opinions on early childhood oral
health. Comparisons between the groups were done using chi-square test.
Dental students showed significantly
better knowledge than medical students. D1 students showed significantly better knowledge of age of first tooth eruption
over M1. Knowledge of recommended age for bottle weaning was higher among D4 students but not significantly more than
The majority of medical students showed inadequate knowledge indicating that medical
curriculum should emphasise on oral health topics of public health relevance like ECC and its prevention. Dental students
had better knowledge regarding early childhood oral health, but lacked knowledge on its preventive aspects.
Vol.13 – n.1/2012
Harvard: S. A. Mani, N. A. Burhanudin, J. John (2012) "Malaysian undergraduates' knowledge and opinions on Early Childhood Oral Health", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 13(1), pp64-68. doi:
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