Best den­tistry is no den­tistry

Lo­cal den­tists say kids should be brought in for vis­its ear­lier in life

Orleans Star - - LOCAL NEWS - Cather­ine Kitts Cather­ Twit­ter @catkitts

Ear­lier this month, par­ents and den­tistry pro­fes­sion­als alike were shocked with the news that den­tal de­cay is the num­ber one rea­son chil­dren aged one to five re­quire surgery.

A re­port from the Cana­dian In­sti­tute for Health In­for­ma­tion showed about 19,000 chil­dren aged one to five end up in hos­pi­tal each year be­cause they have mul­ti­ple cav­i­ties and se­vere tooth de­cay.

In Ottawa, the wait-list at CHEO is lengthy, forc­ing kids with painful oral prob­lems to wait sev­eral months for treat­ment.

But one Or­léans den­tal of­fice says the cri­sis can be averted by ear­lier vis­its. ToothPark, lo­cated at the cor­ner of Tenth Line and Innes Rd. is new to the area and spe­cial­izes specif­i­cally in pe­di­atric den­tistry.

"The goal is to start on a good foot and grow cav­ity fee," said Dr. Na­bil Ou­atik. "Tooth de­cay can be pre­vented."

Na­bil and his col­league Dr. Di­nah are try­ing to spread the word to par­ents that things can be done from the mo­ment the first tooth erupts.

"That prob­a­bly seems very early to some, but you can have tooth de­cay at that age," said Na­bil. "One of the youngest ba­bies I’ve seen with tooth de­cay was only 11 months old. Even if the child doesn’t have big cav­i­ties, the mo­ment there are teeth in the mouth, you run the risk."

This month’s study p o i n t e d t o mo r e com­pli­ca­tions con­cern­ing kids com­ing from a de­prived so­cio-eco­nomic back­ground, but Na­bil and Di­nah say that tooth clean­ings from an ear­lier age will cost less for fam­i­lies and for so­ci­ety if less chil­dren re­quire hos­pi­tal vis­its.

"The best den­tistry is no den­tistry at all," said Di­nah. "Our goal is to be­come den­tal coaches for the par­ent."

Dis­pelling the myth that the best age to bring a child to a den­tist is at age three, Toothpark has be­gun hold­ing free sem­i­nars for par­ents and kids to ed­u­cate them on proper oral care. They also visit day­care cen­tres aim­ing to make the learn­ing process fun and ac­ces­si­ble, and of­fer free con­sul­ta­tions in some cases.

"Ed­u­ca­tion is re­ally one of the big things for us we want to spread this knowl­edge that we have."

Photo: Pro­vided

Toothpark pe­di­atric den­tal prac­tice of­fers ed­u­ca­tional sem­i­nars for kids and par­ents.

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