Windsor

Health unit studies effectiveness of oral health screenings

Dental hygienists will join health officials at schools throughout Windsor and Essex County to ensure dental examinations are meet best standards.

Latest testing is part of larger study into water fluoridation

Windsor-Essex County Health Unit will be testing the effectiveness of its oral health screenings in the region's schools. (The Canadian Press)

Dental hygienists will join health officials at schools throughout Windsor and Essex County to ensure dental examinations meet best standards.

The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit regularly screen children throughout the year for tooth decay rates. Hygienists will be taking part in those examinations.

The health unit "compares the scores of the hygienist, who are looking inside the mouth with a dentist, to make sure that their scores are very comparable," explained Dr. Gary Kirk, the medical health officer. "Then we know if they are comparable."

Dental hygienists will examine about 70 students.

Tooth decay rates have spiked in Windsor, according to the a July report from the health unit. Figures in that document show the proportion of children that required urgent dental care increased by 10 per cent between 2011 and 2015. 

The number of children who did not need care decreased by 24 per cent.

Health officials say Windsor's decision to remove fluoride from its water could be the reason for the spike in tooth decay, but a few more years of data is required before they can make that determination.

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