McGill University has developed an early childhood caries awareness program for parents and caregivers, designed to give these groups the knowledge and tools necessary to improve the oral health of children.
The project, known as “Bright Smiles,” includes an easy-to-read, bilingual pamphlet with tips for parents on oral hygiene, diet, trauma and teething. The Bright Smiles website also features a 5-minute video that explains various brushing techniques and ways to position a child for proper oral care.
“In speaking with parents, we realized that they lacked some basic information. Things like when to start brushing, or not putting a child to sleep with a bottle,” says Sarah Habib, one of 4 McGill dentistry students who initiated the Bright Smiles project. “Parents really want the best for their kids. We want to empower these parents by getting them the information they need as soon as possible.
“We hope that these resources will be a stepping stone for parents to visit the dentist early on in their child’s life and that this will lead to continued education and prevention,” Habib adds.
To learn more about the Bright Smiles project and to access the video, visit www.mcgill.ca/dentistry/clinic/brightsmiles/.