Many service providers indicated that they facilitated ECOH educational activities and shared resources with parents to help them meet their children's oral health needs.
Service providers recommended approaching families in a supportive and non-judgmental manner to promote ECOH in order to avoid attaching blame to parents and caregivers.
Service providers agreed that the HSHC project's information and workshops increased their knowledge of ECOH, and felt this information would be beneficial to share with caregivers and families.
In only a few hours they learned basic information on ECOH that they could share with families.
Parents and caregivers identified key messages that they feel parents, families, and community members need to hear about ECOH. These included:
This study was undertaken to understand parents', caregivers', and service providers' thoughts on ECOH promotion and the HSHC initiative.
Our findings also suggest that the ECOH recommendations should be practical and sensitive to parents' real life circumstances and social context.
(18) Overall, the shame and embarrassment associated with their child's development of caries may be a barrier to the promotion of ECOH among parents and caregivers.
In fact, dental professionals in one study felt that non-oral health providers who work with pregnant women and infants are the appropriate messengers for ECOH as they are more likely to see these young children earlier.
(18) It is important to remember that these workshops were not intended to certify attendees as oral health experts, but rather to equip them with the essential dental knowledge needed to advocate for ECOH. Non-dental primary care providers may feel most comfortable passing on basic oral health messages to parents, rather than complex concepts that challenge their own knowledge.
Findings cannot be generalized to all ECOH promotion activities in Manitoba, nor do the views expressed by participants necessarily reflect the views of all residents of a given region.