Community-oriented oral health promotion for infants in Jerusalem: Evaluation of a program trial

Harold D. Sgan-Cohen, Ivonne Kleinfeld Mansbach, Dana Haver, Rosa Gofin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objectives: This study sought to measure the effect of a community health education program on reported infants' bottle-feeding practices and infants' toothbrushing behavior, with or without distribution of toothpaste and toothbrushes. Methods: In this quasi-experimental comparison group design study conducted in mother and child health centers in Jerusalem, parents of 727 children were surveyed by telephone at baseline and six months later. The cohort of infants was aged 6-12 months at baseline. The program group received structured health education. The control group received no organized educational intervention. Within the program and control groups, half of the centers were randomly given toothpaste and toothbrushes. Results: Parents' reports revealed a secular 32.5 percent increase in toothbrushing for infants with no intervention, 45.1 percent for infants only receiving toothpaste and toothbrushes, 43.7 percent for infants only receiving the health education program, and a 60.4 percent increase for infants receiving health education together with toothpaste and toothbrushes (chi-square, P=.0002). Modification of bottle-drinking practices, in this program, was unsuccessful. Conclusion: The free distribution of toothpaste and toothbrushes, together with an oral health education program, is recommended as a potentially practical and effective method of promoting early oral hygiene practices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)107-113
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Public Health Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Bottle feeding
  • Early childhood caries
  • Fluoride-containing dentifrice
  • Preventive dentistry
  • Sugar consumption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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