Volume 8 • 2021 • Issue 1

The tool was developed to primarily be used by non-dental primary care providers. We know that children from low-income households, those living in rural and remote regions of Canada, Indigenous children and children from newcomer families face particular challenges in accessing oral health care. ~ Dr. Robert Schroth T he initiative to develop the new tool, now endorsed by the Canadian Paediatric Society, the Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, the Canadian Association of Public Health Dentistry, and the Public Health Agency of Canada, was launched by the Office of the Chief Dental Officer of Canada (OCDOC), which commissioned Dr. Robert Schroth and his team at the University of Manitoba. Starting in 2017, Dr. Schroth’s team explored the global body of evidence on caries risk assessment in pre-schoolers before developing a tool for Canada. The tool was pilot tested by nurses and nurse practitioners, family physicians, pediatricians, dieticians, social workers, dental hygienists and dentists. “The path to developing this caries risk assessment tool included a thorough review of the literature and stakeholder meetings with various groups, including professional oral health and professional medical organizations,” says Dr. Schroth. “This was truly an inter-professional process. I am extremely thankful that the OCDOC was able to facilitate this important work.” The new tool has now been included as an integral element of the 2020 update of the Rourke Baby Record, which is a system that many Canadian physicians and other health care professionals use for well-baby and well-child visits for infants NewTool to Connect Young Children to Dental Care Caries Risk Assessment Tool Added to the Rourke Baby Record The Canadian caries risk assessment tool for pre‑schoolers allows primary health care providers or oral health providers in non-traditional clinical settings to assess the risk of—and take defined initial action on— tooth decay in children under the age of 6. and children. “I believe this confirms the importance of early childhood oral health as part of overall childhood health and well-being,” says Dr. Schroth. “It now means that multiple primary health care providers who care for young children can use this information and undertake risk assessments of their patients.” Dr. Schroth believes that the tool will help increase access to oral health care for young children who might otherwise face challenges in obtaining dental assessments 17 Issue 1 | 2021 |