Lack of Oral Care Policies in Toronto Daycares

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Currently, there is a deficit of information on policies regarding oral hygiene practices in Toronto daycares. It is unknown if any tooth-brushing programs are in existence and if children are permitted to follow professional advice on oral hygiene. The main objectives of this investigation were to a) determine the prevalence of oral care policies in daycares and b) examine the availability of resources.


Telephone interviews were conducted with daycare supervisors using a pretested questionnaire. Summary statistics and the chi-square test were used to analyze the results.


Two hundred forty-nine questionnaires were completed (response rate of 99.6 percent), representing 38 percent of the total daycare population (650) in Toronto. Eighty-three percent did not have a policy on oral care and 11 percent would not cede to requests from parents or medical professionals to brush teeth. However, 50 daycares indicated that their centers used to have a tooth-brushing program, and most (79 percent) were open to establishing an oral care policy. Fifteen percent reported not having proper sinks for tooth brushing.


Many daycares do not have a policy regarding oral hygiene. A policy that encourages and provides guidance on safe tooth-brushing procedures is needed and may improve the oral health of preschool children.

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