Ottawa Public Health Update – August 2015
Re: The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC)
Children’s Dental Program Integration Project
Ottawa Public Health would like to thank you for your ongoing support of our oral health programs, including the Children In Need Of Treatment (CINOT) Program, the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) Program, and the Ontario Works Program for children and youth.
The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) announced that the government would improve access to children’s dental programs by integrating six existing dental programs. The implementation date is January 2016 and we will develop processes to ensure the smooth transition to the new program for both clients and providers.
Please be assured that public health units across Ontario and the MOHLTC are working together to ensure a seamless transition for providers as we shift the task of claims processing for children’s programs from public health units to Accerta, the new third party administrator. Please continue to serve clients as usual as we move through this process.
Ottawa Public Health values your partnership and services in helping to improve the oral health of children in our area.
Please feel free to contact us at 613-580-6744 x 23510 if you have any questions about our oral health programs. For more information about integration, please visit http://www.health.gov.on.ca/en/news/bulletin/2015/hb_20150529_1.aspx.
Nancy Kennedy, Manager, Dental Services
Ottawa Public Health Activity Updates – July 2015
One part of our public health mandate is to communicate oral health information to the general population with the goal of improving oral health as well as overall health. To achieve this goal and implementing new ways of reaching clients, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) recently launched a parent Facebook page called Parenting In Ottawa – where parents go, to get in the know! https://www.facebook.com/parentinginottawa?fref=ts Currently, this Facebook page has over 8000 followers in English and over 1000 in French and this number continues to grow.
In addition, OPH also launched the Parenting in Ottawa website. http://www.parentinginottawa.com/en/index.asp This website contains a lot of dental information and more to come as we update our fact sheets
The topics on the Facebook page change daily and Dental health is often the topic of the day. The discussion is moderated by a public health nurse that is familiar with our key dental messages. I wanted to share the comments received from over 25 parents who were engaged in a conversation about 1st birthday, 1st dental visit.
Topic of the day - Baby Teeth
Each time we feature Dental Health as the topic of the day on Facebook, we receive many comments from parents about how our message of seeing a dentist when first teeth erupt or by the age of one year old is contradictory with what they were told at the dentist or in the community. Parents repeat over and over that they are told not before 3yrs old yet the Canadian Dental Association and the Ontario Dental Association messaging supports Ottawa Public Health’s messaging. Parents express frustration at the different messaging. Here are the comments we received today only on this topic. We have featured dental health many times since our launch in November 2014 and the same issue comes up over and over again.
The post went as follows: Your baby’s first visit to the dentist should occur at the age of one year or when the first teeth appear.
“I tried making an appt for my son at 1 yrs old and they told me he has to be 3 or older for first visit “
“I work in a dental office and everyone there recommends 3 years old, but the recommendation is as soon as they have teeth. If your dental office recommends 3, they'll still see your child at any age so go ahead and tell them what you want”
“I've asked this question before on a moms group and was told not till they're about 3. My son has a mouthful of teeth, so he should be seeing a dentist??”
“I was told three as well; maybe I should try to get her in sooner...”
“I was told 3 for a regular dental check up but if I notice any problems my dentist will see my daughter. She's 16 months and has been seen by the dentist twice already because we thought there may be a problem and wanted professional. Reassurance that everything was ok. There are several pediatric dentists in Ottawa so surely someone would see a younger child if your regular dentist says no.”
“ I went to several dentist and no one took children under 3 years old even when my daughter almost lost her two baby teeth we were sent to cheo.”
“And they only took my 3 year old in because her baby molar was being eaten by her acid reflux which if i could have brought her in as a baby we could have protected her teeth better”
“I was also told 3 by my dentist”
“Get them in before three! We had issues with decay. Would have been caught before if we'd gone earlier. Plus, the smaller they are, the more they'll get used to it.”
“my dentist wouldn’t see kids till 3 unless there was an issue...”
“We were told 3 as well. Just had our first visit.”
“There is such conflicting information about this. Our dentist says 3 years. My friend's dentist says 1 year! Confusing.”
“Oh really? My mom asked her dentist and they said only around 2 or 3 years of age. My little girl is 13 months and has 4 teeth” “My son will be 2 in June. He has had all of his teeth now (including the 4molars) for a few weeks. I remember my dentist saying age 3 should I bring him in sooner?”
With this information and following feedback from our Dental Stakeholder Group, OPH will add a link to the ODS website on our social media sites that will direct people to the Ottawa Dental Society (ODS) “Find a Dentist” page. Additionally the ODS will add a new field to help people find dentists who accept patients at age 1. As a dental hygienist we encourage you to see children at a very young age to get them on the right track for good oral health habits and to catch any problems early. You can work with your dentist to sign up today.
What a great example of working together to improve the oral health of our population.
Respectfully submitted by
Nancy Kennedy, Manager, Dental Health
Ottawa Public Health Activity Updates – May 2015
Work continues to establish a new dental clinic at Wabano, which is Ottawa’s only Aboriginal Health Access Center located at 299 Montreal Road. This will be a one room dental operatory located in the health access centre and will work closely with the onsite medical team to encourage patients to visit the dentist. Staffing includes a dentist, assistant and hygienist. This team will be trained in how to be effective in reaching aboriginal clients in a safe and culturally sensitive manner. Additionally, the team will work across the urban aboriginal community including First Nations, Inuit and Metis groups to increase awareness and importance of oral health habits and to increase the uptake of dental treatment.
We continue to work with the Ministry of Health and Long Term care on the provincial integration of 6 publically funded children’s dental programs. This will mean a change for your office related to dental claims processing for children covered under Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Program, CINOT and Healthy Smiles as OPH will no longer pay these claims. Later in the year these programs will merge into one new program called “Healthy Smiles (phase 2)” and claims processing will be done electronically through a new plan administrator. During the adjustment period, OPH will work with our local dental community to ensure a smooth transition. OPH will continue to process claims for Adults under OW and Children’s Aid Society.
On a sad note, we inform you of the sudden death of Dr John Pavezka. Some of you might have had the privilege to work with him. Dr John as he was known to his patients, worked at Ottawa Public Health for over thirty years were he dedicated his working life to public health dentistry in the firm conviction that access to dental care should be the right of everyone. He studied science and dentistry at the University of Toronto and developed a keen sense of social justice. John shared his extensive clinical knowledge and was a strong and supportive mentor over the years. He will be missed.
Please feel free to contact our Dental Health Information line at 613-580-6744 ext 23510 or via email at dentalhealth.ottawa.ca if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your support of our public health initiatives and for accepting patients on publically funded programs. Please remember that for families qualified to be on publically funded programs, offices submit claims for payment and do not ask patients for any payment.
Respectfully submitted by Nancy Kennedy, Manager, Dental Health