A consensus has been reached by roundtable stakeholders on three specific priorities on which there could be collaboration among the participating organizations, namely:
- Community water fluoridation
- Oral health standards in long-term care facilities
- Education programs for children and parents
Over the course of the next several years, work will be undertaken in these identified priority areas in a collaborative manner. As resources become available in these areas, they will be posted at this section of the website.
Community Water Fluoridation
There is general consensus that water fluoridation improves dental health for everybody and that every community needs fluoridated water. However, the decision to fluoridate community water is left to municipal councils, which often lack knowledge and understanding of the issue. In the absence of focused efforts to promote community water fluoridation, a strong anti-fluoride movement may have influenced the decision of many Canadian cities to stop fluoridating their water.
To consult the COHR consensus statement on Community Water Fluoridation, please click here.
Oral Health Standards in Long Term Care Facilities
Due to an overall increase in life expectancy, seniors presently represent one of the fastest growing groups of Canadians. The overall increasing proportion of seniors along with their considerably higher rate of dental diseases and need for dental services, the presence of barriers to dental care access in addition to the increasingly limited government funding, justify the concerns about access and delivery of dental health services for seniors, particularly those in long-term care (LTC) facilities.
There is general consensus that most people living in long-term facilities are already medically compromised and that new methodologies and standards of oral care must be developed for people with co-morbidities.
To consult the COHR consensus statement on Oral Health Care Standards for Residents in Long Term Care in Canada, please click here.
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.