Primary Health Care Providers
Oral Health – Good for Life
Oral health is an integral part of general health. As healthcare professionals, primary health care providers are often the first point of contact in primary care for infants and young children. Reminding parents and caregivers of the importance of oral health can be an essential part of the regular examination of children.
Health Risks of Poor Oral Health for Young Children
According to a report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), hospital outpatient dental surgery for ECC constituted 31% of all day surgery for children age 1 to 4, making it the leading cause of day surgery for children in this age group.
The consequences of untreated ECC can be dire. Pain, difficulty eating and sleeping, speech difficulties and poor self-esteem may occur. Untreated ECC can affect growth and the ability to concentrate and function. The quality of life of our youngest and often most vulnerable members of our society can be seriously compromised and yet ECC is totally preventable.
Visiting the dentist within the first year (or first tooth eruption) is a dental best practice to help reduce the incidence of ECC.
While tooth decay is preventable, good oral health begins at birth and has a proven effect on overall health.