CDA Essentials 2018 • Volume 5 • Issue 1

CDA at W ork 11 Issue 1 | 2018 | Bring the baby To help prevent or reduce early childhood caries, CDA recommends that parents or caregivers bring their child to the dentist by their first birthday or within 6months of the first tooth eruption. A first visit by age one allows the dentist to diagnose and prevent dental decay at early stage, and provides an opportunity to educate parents and caregivers about what they can do to protect their child’s teeth through healthy eating habits, cleaning at home, and regular visits to the dentist. The first visit also provides an important connection to the child’s dental home. Visit to order the resource kit or find a course being offered in your area. FIRST VISIT, FIRST TOOTH Continuing education course going strong Dr. Heather Carr Chair of the CDA Access to Care Working Group Since its launch in 2015, CDA’s First Visit, First Tooth continuing education (CE) course has taught roughly 2,000 participants across the country how to diagnose and prevent early childhood caries (ECC) and equipped them with tools and techniques for examining infants and toddlers. Dr. Heather Carr, a practising dentist in Halifax and chair of the CDA Working Group on Access to Care, took the half-day CE course and says it has helped her approach first visits differently. “I believe the first visit is as much about educating the parent as it is about checking teeth,” she says. “I spend a great deal of the visit talking with parents about best oral health practices and answering their questions. The course was a reminder of what to bring up in these discussions and how important it is for children to have a dental home from a very young age.” “From a clinical perspective, the course taught me the proper knee-to-knee technique, which allows the child to maintain eye contact with their parent while I complete the examination, and helps me establish a positive relationship with my young patients” adds Dr. Carr. “In my practice, I normally continue recalls in my chair until the child is comfortable with basic dental cleanings and with me.” A course resource kit is available for dentists to order, and includes a demonstration doll, mirror, penlight, fluoride varnish and other materials. Designed to appeal to a wide range of health professionals, including dentists, specialists, other oral health providers, pediatricians, family physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and public health officials, the course can be tailored to participants’ needs. a