INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PAEDIATRIC DENTISTRY, vol.32, no.5, pp.702-713, 2022 (SCI-Expanded)
Background Personal protective equipment (PPE) gained particular importance during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aim To assess child and parent preferences for dentists' appearance concerning their PPE and to determine the relationship between the child and parent preferences. Design A total of 250 children aged 6-12 years and their parents were enrolled in the study. Standardized pictures with different sexes, attires, eye protectors, hair protectors, masks, and gloves were shown to children and their parents separately, and they were asked to choose their preferences. The dental anxiety of the children and their parents was determined using the MCDAS(f) and MDAS, respectively. Decayed, missing, and filled tooth (DMFT) indices were employed for the children. Results Children and parents preferred a dentist of the same sex as themselves (p < .05). Anxious children preferred cartoon-printed attire, and children with low anxiety mostly preferred white coats (p = .001). Children who preferred colored coats had higher DMFT (p < .001). Statistically significant differences were found in the attire and glove preferences between children and parents (p < .001). Conclusions The production of white and child-friendly fluid-resistant disposable gowns should be considered. PPE with colored or cartoon print was preferred under the influence of factors that could positively affect anxiety.