AIM: To assess children and parental attitudes towards dental attire. METHODS: A convenience sample of paediatric dental patients and their parents attending the Paediatric Dentistry Dept. (Leeds, UK). Data was collected using a questionnaire accompanied by a series of photographs of female and male dental students in different modes of attire. RESULTS: 100 parents with a mean age of 40.4 years (SD±8.8) and range 23–60 years, and 100 children with a mean age of 9.8 years (SD±3.5) and range 4–16 years responded. Participants preferred females in white coat and mask (15.5%) and white coat (10.5%); males in white coat and mask (11.0%), white coat and glasses (9.0%) and formal shirt (8.5%). Parents significantly preferred formal attire and children informal attire (×2=25.417, P<0.022). Comparing white coat vs paediatric coats, both parents and children ranked white coats in favour of paediatric coats (×2= 1.476, P=0.347). A highly significant difference was found between the male participants who favoured the male dental student and female participants the female dental student (×2=30.600, P<0.000). CONCLUSIONS: Parents favoured traditional dress as it gives an air of professionalism. Children preferred dental students in casual attire, both children and parents ranked formal white in favour of a paediatric coat. There was a highly significant difference in preference of the participants towards the sex of their dental health care provider, male participants favoured male student and females female students.
children attire dentists
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