Dental News

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Pediatric Clinic hires the cutest dental assistant!

Meet JoJo, the furriest assistant on staff at Pediatric Dentistry of Northbrook, in Illinois. Just like for her colleagues, smiles are her business. As a trained comfort dog, JoJo is skilled at putting people at ease. When kids come in for checkups, the sweet pup is there to offer her loving presence.

“A lot of the time, those patients would need nitrous oxide or other sedative to help them relax,” clinic staffer Veronica Renteria said. “But when JoJo comes in with them and sits in the chair, they’re comforted. They can just sit and pet her as they’re getting their teeth cleaned. She’s does a great job with them.” Not only does JoJo make trips to the dentist less stressful, but she also improves the experience for everyone involved.

“When the patients are very anxious or scared, they tend to move around a lot,” Renteria said. “When JoJo is there, the appointments go much smoother and quicker for them. And the doctor gets to perform the work as it’s meant to be done.” As an added bonus, when JoJo’s natural remedy is able to calm the jitters without the need for additional medication, it helps keeps costs down for simple procedures. Best of all, a friendly paw to hold requires no prescription.

JoJo is so good at her job, in fact, that after a visit to the dentist with her around, both kids and their parents have an added incentive to come in for regular checkups “A lot of the patients who normally were very apprehensive about even walking in the door now look forward to their appointments,” said Renteria. “The moment you walk in, you feel very relaxed. There she is, waiting for you to pet her.” Everyone at the clinic appreciates having JoJo around doing her important work — and she enjoys being there as well, says Renteria:

“She loves coming in. She’s very well trained and knows what she’s doing. We all benefit from her so much.” Thanks for the smiles, JoJo!

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Calgary votes down motion to review research on fluoridation

City council has decided not to hold consultations with the authors of a recent study to discuss their findings on the fluoridation of Calgary’s drinking water. A Notice of Motion was brought forward earlier this week by councillors Richard Pootmans, Diane Colley-Urquhart and Peter Demong to review the results of the study, which showed tooth decay has increased in Calgary children since fluoride was removed from the water in 2011.

The study from the University of Calgary’s O’Brien Institute for Public Health indicated that the average Calgary child developed more than five new cavities, while over the same time period their Edmonton counterparts only increased by three. The city stopped adding fluoride to Calgary's drinking water in May of 2011.

Edmonton added fluoride to its water supply in 1967 and continues to do so. On Tuesday, councillors voted nine to five to dismiss the motion but even though the motion was defeated, the debate on fluoridation isn’t over yet. City council will meet again on Wednesday afternoon to talk about a suggestion to send a letter to the province about tooth decay. Mayor Naheed Nenshi says a letter won't get anything done and that he’s surprised the motion to gather more information didn’t pass.

“I want to be sympathetic to my councillor colleagues on this because a number of them have pretty well thought out moral and ethical concerns with fluoride but I also believe in evidence based decision making and I’m pretty surprised that council said we don’t want any more evidence, we actually don’t want any more data,” he said. “I’m pretty surprised that the University of Calgary offered, for free, to actually give us some scientific data and council chose to say no.”

Nenshi says fluoridation would've been a cheap and effective way to improve the dental health of Calgary kids from low-income families and that Calgarians will need to talk to their councillors if they want fluoride in the water.

“It won’t have any impact and I think every member of council knows that,” he said. “I think that if there are people who are interested in fluoridation, then what you need to do is get your council interested in fluoridation and the way to do that is to put a petition at the front of every dental office and force us to have a plebiscite on the issue because this council is not going to do anything and if people are interested in something happening, then that’s the way to do it,” he said.

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