Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs can affect oral health in a variety of ways. For example:
- Lack of knowledge and beliefs about primary teeth can affect willingness to seek oral health care for children.
- Beliefs about what causes oral disease and how to prevent it can influence attitudes about adopting good oral care habits and seeking oral health care before pain occurs.
- Fear, whether from community beliefs or from personal bad experiences, can influence attitudes about where and how to get oral health care.
- Health and safety concerns carried from immigrants’ countries of origin impact their willingness to use readily accessible resources for good oral health such as drinking fluoridated tap water.
- Myths and rumors combined with language barriers can prevent parents from embracing proven recommendations such as brushing a child’s teeth with a smear of fluoridated toothpaste as soon as the first tooth appears.