IFDH Pediatric Practices Survey

In November 2021, the IFDH fielded a survey to better understand global dental hygienists’ practices regarding pediatric patients 6 to 12 years old. This was the 5th in a series of surveys to help identify opportunities for future educational programs.


The survey was sent to 34 national associations. There were 367 respondents, representing 25 countries. The top 5 countries with respondents were:

  • Italy 19%
  • USA 13%
  • Canada 12%
  • Portugal 11%
  • Australia 6%

Respondents were slightly skewed towards those with 15 years in practice or less. Most respondents reported having a Bachelor’s degree or Diploma and almost 70% work in a private practice setting.

Topline Results

Approximately 60% of respondents see pediatric patients 6 to 12 years old at least once a week.

The following data are from 286 respondents (78% of total) who see children in this age group at least once a month. All questions pertain to children 6 to 12 years old.

Most respondents have positive feelings about treating pediatric patients. It’s rewarding to educate them, particularly in formative years when they’re learning oral hygiene habits.

Top 3 diseases/conditions among respondents’ patients (% virtually all + most patients):

  1. Poor plaque control (55%)
  2. Gingivitis (39%)
  3. Caries (27%)

Top products recommended (% always + often recommended):

  • Fluoride toothpaste (96%)
  • Interdental cleaning aids (67%)
  • Electric toothbrushes (58%)

Top 3 resources to help provide oral hygiene instructions to parents/caregivers:

  1. Demonstration toothbrushes for children to try/use in the office (62%)
  2. Plaque disclosing tablets (55%)
  3. Instructional animations targeted to children (43%)

The majority of respondents (78% or more) counsel patients/caregivers on the negative impact of sugary and acidic foods and beverages and the importance of nutrition. Most respondents (72%) view caregivers and children as equally important recipients of oral hygiene instruction.

More results are available in the PowerPoint summary and PDF file.

Click here to save the PowerPoint summary with detailed results.
Click here to save the PDF results summary file.

We would like to thank the respondents for taking time to complete the survey. The information is very useful and will help guide future educational learning opportunities.

The IFDH thanks Procter & Gamble (Crest / Oral-B) for supporting this project.