The aim of this study was to investigate the parental willingness to invest in good oral health for their child in terms of money and time and to relate this to oral health related knowledge and behavioral aspects. 290 parents of 6-year-old children, participating in a RCT on caries preventive strategies in the Netherlands were asked to provide information on education, oral health habits, dietary habits, knowledge on dental topics, willingness to pay and perceived resistance against investing in preventive oral health actions for their children. Despite the fact that parents overall valued oral health for their child highly, still 12% of the parents were unwilling to spend any money, nor to invest any time by brushing their children's teeth to maintain good oral health for their child. Additionally, they indicated that they were unwilling to visit the dentist for preventive measures more than once a year. These children may certainly be considered at higher risk of developing oral diseases because worse oral hygiene habits and dietary habits were found in this group. Given the results, it may be necessary to differentiate in allocating caries prevention programmes to target parents or (school-based) children directly.

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Keywords Children, Dentistry, Knowledge, Oral health, The Netherlands, Willingness to invest
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Journal Social Science & Medicine
Vermaire, J.H, van Exel, N.J.A, van Loveren, C, & Brouwer, W.B.F. (2012). Putting your money where your mouth is: Parents' valuation of good oral health of their children. Social Science & Medicine, 75(12), 2200–2206. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2012.08.018