Nova Scotia children have too many cavities, long waits for treatment: dentists

A new report says 36 per cent of Nova Scotia children have cavities by the age of six due in part to a lack of proper dental care and early checkups.

The study on oral health by Nova Scotia's dentists also says that there are currently 500 children waiting for consultation or treatment of a dental issue at the IWK children's hospital.

The Nova Scotia Dental Association's annual report card is urging caregivers to begin using an infant toothbrush when their first tooth grows in, and assist the child with flossing.

The association also is calling for the application of fluoride, and recommends a moratorium on municipalities removing fluoride from drinking water.

The dentists' key finding is to encourage families to establish tooth brushing and flossing times and have a preventative first visit to the dentist by age one or within six months of the emergence of a first tooth.

The association represents over 500 member dentists in the province.