Abstract: Aim The aim of this study is to determine the age and most common reasons of the first dental visit among preschool children, taking into account family income and parental education in Turkey.
Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted in a state dental hospital on 519 children aged 0–5 years who had their first dental visit with no previous dental experience. Data on age and reasons for the first dental visit of the children and parent relevant data on family income, educational level, dental visit frequency, and satisfaction about the oral health care information was collected by means of a questionnaire.
Results Of the 519 children of the study, 47.4% were males and 52.6% were females. The mean age of first dental visit was 3.62±1.32 and 2.9% of the children had been visited under the age of 1 year. Pain (36.4%) was the main reason for the visit followed mostly by check-up (23.1%), other reasons (21.4%), and decay noted by parents (15.6%). There was no referral from paediatricians. Parental educational level was not found as an impact factor for the reasons and the age of the visit (p=0.394; p=0.245). Children of low-income-family were more likely to have dental visit due to pain (p=0.002). The frequency of parents’ dental visits was not a determinant factor for the reason and the age of the child’s visit (p>0.05; p>0.05). All the parents were satisfied with the oral health information.
Conclusion It is necessary to raise awareness about early dental visits and oral health care among parents and paediatricians.