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Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Apr;23(2):111-115. doi: 10.1093/pch/pxx155. Epub 2017 Nov 22.

Identification of early childhood caries in primary care settings.

Author information

1
Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Ontario.
2
Social Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario.
3
The Children's Aid Society, Toronto, Ontario.
4
SickKids Research Institute, Toronto, Ontario.
5
Division of Paediatric Medicine, Department of Paediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
6
Black Creek Community Health Centre, Toronto, Ontario.
7
Emergency Medicine, The Hospital for Sick Children, Department of Paediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
8
Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
9
Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.
10
Department of Preventive Dental Science, College of Dentistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
11
Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Max Rady College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Abstract

Early childhood caries (ECC) is the most common chronic disease affecting young children in Canada. ECC may lead to pain and infection, compromised general health, decreased quality of life and increased risk for dental caries in primary and permanent teeth. A multidisciplinary approach to prevent and identify dental disease is recommended by dental and medical national organizations. Young children visit primary care providers at regular intervals from an early age. These encounters provide an ideal opportunity for primary care providers to educate clients about their children's oral health and its importance for general health. We designed an office-based oral health screening guide to help primary care providers identify ECC, a dental referral form to facilitate dental care access and an oral health education resource to raise parental awareness. These resources were reviewed and trialled with a small number of primary care providers.

KEYWORDS:

Early childhood caries; Oral health screening; Physician; Primary care; Tooth decay

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