Dental decay in children
The most chronic infection for children in Calgary is dental decay.
Dr. Leonard Smith sees many kids whose mouths are full of cavities.
He says cavities can result in painful infections which can lead to behavioral issues. "We've had kids come in with a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD. We fixed up their mouths and low and behold their behaviours improved significantly."
Twenty-three percent of young children with cavities don't receive treatment. Of, if they do, it's often too later for one easy filling.
"Out of a child who has 20 teeth, it's not unusual to fill all 20," says Dr. Smith.
Thousands of dental surgeries are performed on children in Calgary every year and dental issues are the most common reason for surgery at the Alberta Children's Hospital.
Dr. Smith says his youngest surgical patient was 18-months-old. He had to perform 14 root canals and put in 10 crowns.
He recommends parents bring their babies in for their first check up when they are six-months-old.