Children’s preference for the odontopediatric gender


  • Daniela Barbabela Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • João Paulo Tibães Mota Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Poliana Gonçalves Magalhães Maia Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Karina Bonanato Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Saul Martins Paiva Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
  • Isabela Almeida Pordeus Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais


Pediatric dentistry, Behavior, Dental care for children


This paper aims to assess children’s preferences for the gender of their dentist in pediatric dentistry. The sample consisted of 34 children - 16 girls and 18 boys who were attended to at a public school in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil - and their parents. The children were approximately 4 to 6 years old. The children’s parents first received a consent form and a questionnaire about their children’s experiences with medical and odontological treatment. Then, two photographs were shown to each child, one of a male dentist and another of a female dentist. They were asked which one they would prefer to be their dentist. The majority of the children chose to be treated by the female dentist (62%), as did their parents (68%). The child’s gender was the only variable that influenced the child’s preference. The chances of a child preferring to be treated by a dentist of the same gender was 15 times greater than preferring a dentist of the opposite sex, regardless of the other variables studied (p=0.04). It could therefore be concluded that a child’s gender is directly related to child’s choice of his/her dentist’s gender, that is, girls preferred to be attended to by female dentists, while boys preferred male dentists.



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How to Cite

Barbabela, D., Mota, J. P. T., Maia, P. G. M., Bonanato, K., Paiva, S. M., & Pordeus, I. A. (2016). Children’s preference for the odontopediatric gender. Arquivos Em Odontologia, 44(2). Retrieved from




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