Education Programs for Children and Parents
Early childhood caries is the most common unmet childhood medical need, accounting for about one third of all day surgeries performed on Canadian children between the ages of 1 and 5. As a result, pediatric dentistry programs are expanding to meet the burden of care and reduce waiting times for surgeries.
Targeting oral health promotion to preschoolers and their parents is an opportunity to prevent the high caries rate observed in school-age children. Although the term “preschooler” was variously defined (e.g., before age 3 or between 0–6 years of age), there is a shared view that the earlier oral health promotion starts, the better the outcomes. Programs that educate caregivers and teachers about how to teach proper oral health self care to children have been suggested as good health promotion models.