CDA Essentials 2017 • Volume 3 • Issue 4

15 Volume 3 Issue 4 | CDA at W ork Discussions centred on the benefits of educating family physicians, nurses and other primary health care professionals in the basics of oral health through a program called Smiles for Life, a national oral health curriculum created for non-dental professionals in the United States. Primary care providers can help prevent oral disease in children by promoting good oral health behaviours to parents of infants, including the importance of taking their child to the dentist by 12 months of age. Dr. Anne Rowan-Legg, a pediatrician representing the Canadian Pediatric Society at COHR, says this kind of training fills a knowledge gap. “As primary care providers, providing anticipatory guidance to parents is a big piece of what we do,” she says. “By virtue of the immunization schedule and well-baby visits, young kids usually see their pediatrician, family doctor or nurse practitioner at least eight times before they start school. That’s many opportunities to provide counsel and shows the importance of equipping primary care providers with a good oral health education.” A committee will incorporate feedback from COHR participants and adapt the Smiles for Life curriculum on children’s oral health to a Canadian audience. Sugar reduction strategies were also a key discussion point at this year’s COHR. Following a presentation on the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s campaign to reduce consumption of sugary drinks (the largest contributor of sugar in Canadians’ diets) COHR participants discussed potential policy interventions for reducing daily consumption of free sugars—those sugars added to foods by the manufacturer or sugars naturally present in honey, syrups and fruit juices. For more information about COHR, visit a Focus on Children’s Oral Health at CANADIAN ORAL HEALTH ROUNDTABLE “As primary care providers, providing anticipatory guidance to parents is a big piece of what we do.” – Anne Rowan-Legg The third annual Canadian Oral Health Roundtable (COHR), a gathering of professionals collaborating across disciplines to improve the oral health of Canadians, was held in Ottawa on April 14. COHR participants represent organizations both within and outside of health care, which invites a wide range of perspectives on the question of how we can better serve populations susceptible to poor oral health. This year’s meeting focused on improving the oral health of children through education programs—one of three priority areas identified at the inaugural COHR meeting in 2014. Dr.AnneRowan-Legg (L. to r.) Dr. Randall Croutze, CDA president, with Owen Adams, Canadian Medical Association chief policy advisor. Photographs:TecklesPhotos Inc.