Too Many Peel Children Suffer with Bad Teeth and Gums
(Brampton) - A report released last week by Peel Health reveals a disturbing picture
of poor dental health among the region's children.
The Children's Dental Health 2003 report shows approximately two in every five
Peel children have had cavities but only slightly more than half of these children
have had all of these cavities filled. Twelve per cent of Peel's children have
dental conditions so serious they need urgent care, but only two-thirds of Peel
children and families have dental benefits or insurance.
"Too many of Peel's children have dental health problems," says Dr.
David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health for the Region of Peel. "Dental
pain, bleeding and infection can interfere with learning in school and lead
to tooth loss."
Dental diseases in children can lead to abscesses in the mouth and undue pain
which can affect eating, sleeping and general growth and development. Every
year in Canada, childhood dental diseases lead to five million hours of lost
"Healthy teeth and gums play an important role in general health and quality
of life," continued McKeown. "Dental diseases start early in life
and increase with age. All of Peel's children deserve a chance for a lifetime
of healthy teeth and gums."
In order to effectively address the dental health needs of the region's children,
Regional Council has approved a three-pronged approach:
- investigation of methods to fluoridate communal well water in Caledon;
- enhancement of existing dental health promotion and clinical preventative
services offered by Peel Health; and
- advocacy to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to fund the treatment
of non-urgent conditions for children of families that do not receive any form
of dental benefits or insurance and are deemed working poor.
For information on the Children's Dental Health 2003 report or Peel Health's
dental programs, call Health Line Peel at 905-799-7700 or visit www.region.peel.on.ca.