Purpose: To assess 1) how socioeconomically disadvantaged parents receive information about their childs oral health, 2) how they prefer to access information and 3) whether their gender, age, ethnicity/race, education, income and the number of children in their family affect oral health-related information use.
Materials and Methods: Survey data were collected from 506 parents/guardians at a pediatric community dental clinic. The majority of the respondents were female (87%) and African American (54%). They ranged in age from 16 to 73 years.
Results: The most frequently used sources for oral health-related information were family members (75%), the childs doctor (74%), other parents (57%) and the childs nurse (54%). The majority of the parents (84%) indicated that the paediatric community dental clinic should have a website with oral health-related information. A total of 79% would use such a website in their own home (73%), at a library (29%), at school (16%) or at work (16%). In addition, 86% also wanted to receive printed information from the community dental clinic. The data showed that European-American parents were more likely than African-American parents to have received information from the childs caregivers, parent support groups, the childs doctor, e-mail groups or books. The respondents age, income and educational background affected which sources of information they used.
Conclusions: The majority of socioeconomically disadvantaged parents/guardians would like to have access to web-based information about childrens oral health and reported that they would use such information.