The ‘Dont Touch Me’ campaign: Dentists say you shouldn’t talk to kids in the dental office
The “Dont touch me” campaign is making a comeback.
A campaign in which doctors are urging people to stop talking to children and ask their parents to stop visiting their dentists has gained momentum.
Dentists across Canada are urging patients to “keep calm and not talk” to their kids in their own dentists.
“The whole point of this campaign is to get the attention of parents so that they know that this is not OK,” said Dr. Dan Gervais of Dentistry Ontario, a Toronto-based group.
Dr. Gervans is leading a group of doctors and dentists in a “Dental for Everyone” campaign.
The campaign is an effort to change attitudes about kids in dentist offices, said Dr D. David Smith, a dental hygienist at the University of Toronto Scarborough.
In Ontario, doctors have seen an increase in the number of visits from children in recent years.
In 2015, the province reported 6,000 more visits than a year earlier.
While there has been a decline in visits, dentists are worried that children are going to the dentist to see their dentist and that children will be discouraged from having regular dental visits.
“Parents don’t want to talk to their children and parents don’t trust their kids.
So that creates a whole host of concerns,” Smith said.
It is an issue that Dr. Peter Wernicke, a family dentist in Toronto, said he is working to address.
Wernickes is spearheading a new program to provide parents with a free dental appointment for their children.
“Our patients have said that we’re very much focused on their children’s health and wellbeing and this is a very important issue for them,” he said.
“It’s a very simple but very important thing to do, and I think it’s really important for all of us to have dental care for our children.
It’s really simple to do.”
It was a similar story for Dr. Daniel Bouchard, the head of the dental branch at McMaster University.
After seeing a dramatic decrease in visits from kids last year, he said he decided to give it another shot.
A recent study showed that kids were three times more likely to have a dental visit when the parents were present.
“They had to see the dentist because their children were visiting us, and the kids weren’t talking to them,” Bouchards told CBC News.
“So it’s very much a concern for the kids.
It was a lot more of a family issue.”
He said the number and types of visits to the office went up with the introduction of dental hygiene products.
For the past few years, Bouchart has offered free visits to kids at McMaster, where he works as a family physician.
He said it is not unusual for parents to come to the dentists office to discuss their childrens’ dental needs.
“It seems like it is a little bit easier to talk about dental health, dental hygiene, or any of that stuff than it is to talk directly to your child,” he explained.
So far, he says he has had a very positive response to the campaign.
“There is really a feeling of hope in the community that is that we will see a significant change in the level of visits,” he added.
“I think we will.
There is a feeling that we are moving in the right direction.”
Dr Bouchand says parents have an opportunity to take a stand for their kids’ health.
He says the campaign has been welcomed by parents and dentistry experts, and there is a lot of work to be done.
“I think this is an area where we have to be proactive.
I think we have an obligation to be mindful of the kids, the parents, and make sure that we have the best possible dentistry for our kids,” he noted.
But Dr Gervas believes it is the parents who are most likely to take action.
“The parents are going through this process because they don’t have the time or the inclination, so it’s a real challenge for them to make sure they are going in the correct direction,” he concluded.
“But we’re trying to do something.
And I think the kids are going along with it.
They understand that they have to do it.
And the parents are supportive of it.”