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Giving Children a Voice About Their Dental Care

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Purpose: To assess young children's views of their experiences of dental treatment.
Methods: Forty-two four- to seven-year-old children were recruited between August and December 2017. Half were asked to tell the interviewer about their recent dental treatment and the remaining half were asked to draw at the same time they talked about this treatment. Only children's verbal responses were coded, not the content of their drawings.
Results: Drawing while talking increased the amount of neutral information that children verbally reported and helped to overcome limitations in language skills. Children talked primarily about emotionally neutral information. They talked about things that they did and did not like, and provided suggestions about how their experience of dental treatment could be improved.
Conclusion: Drawing during the interview helped children talk about their experiences of dental treatment. Gaining children's insights in this way could be used to optimize their oral health.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Ms. Ware is a psychologist, Ministry of Education, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, all in Dunedin, New Zealand 2: Dr. Drummond is a clinical professor, Department of Paediatric Dentistry, School of Dentistry, Faculty of Medicine and Health, University of Leeds, Leeds, United Kingdom 3: Dr. Gross is a senior research fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Otago, all in Dunedin, New Zealand;, Email: [email protected] 4: Dr. Hayne is a professor, both in the Department of Psychology, University of Otago, all in Dunedin, New Zealand

Publication date: May 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Acquired after the merger between the American Society of Dentistry for Children and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry in 2002, the Journal of Dentistry for Children (JDC) is an internationally renowned journal whose publishing dates back to 1934. Published three times a year, JDC promotes the practice, education and research specifically related to the specialty of pediatric dentistry. It covers a wide range of topics related to the clinical care of children, from clinical techniques of daily importance to the practitioner, to studies on child behavior and growth and development. JDC also provides information on the physical, psychological and emotional conditions of children as they relate to and affect their dental health.
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