Best dentistry is no dentistry
Local dentists say kids should be brought in for visits earlier in life
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."
Toothpark pediatric dental practice offers educational seminars for kids and parents.