Healthy living are two words that tend to coincide with clean eating and exercising. However, there’s another aspect of a healthy lifestyle that sometimes is forgotten about – dental hygiene.
“I’ve been opened since 2003,” says Terri Pukanich, owner and dentist at Slave Lake Dental. “And during the last few years, I’ve seen children coming in every six months and have cavities. Unfortunately, kids coming in and having a cavity-free visit is becoming rare.”
Since noticing this trend, Pukanich says she’s developed a program aimed at raising awareness about cavity prevention for kids.
“I wanted to do something different to motivate parents and kids and show that cavities aren’t normal,” she says. “So I did a lot of research and I condensed all the medical journals I read into an easy to understand cavity risk assessment.”
According to Pukanich, ‘Kid Inspired Dentistry (KID) Crew’ has been in the works since January, 2016, and officially launched this August.
“It’s been a lot of work, but I’m excited to get it finally going and underway,” she says.
Since economic times are hard; making sure the program was accessible to all of clinic’s child patients was Pukanich’s top priorities.
“The best part is parents don’t need to pay extra,” says Pukanich. “It’s completely free and won’t cost anything more than a usual visit.”
What exactly does the program entail?
“Our mission is to help kids and parents understand that your visit to the dentist is not ‘just’ a cleaning, but an extremely part of your overall health,” says Pukanich. “We believe that by taking the time with kids early, we can grow a generation of dentally healthy adults.”
Pukanich adds, “We’re really trying to focus on the education and prevention part rather than fix and fill. My goal is to get cavities down by 20 per cent!”
A large part of the program is kids seeing the progress they’ve made.
“At every appointment kids are going to see the difference brushing and flossing has made,” says Pukanich. “We track the progress over time, so let’s say they went from being a high-risk to low-risk, and they’ve been with us for a year or two, we can show them that.”
For more information, call 780-849-2233.