In order for an intervention to be successful, it must be both timely and relevant. The avoidance of early childhood caries and the difficulties associated with its management are dependant upon the provision of information that will allow for behavioral modification early enough in the life of the child. The one year-old visit to the dentist is focused on oral health risk assessment through a structured consultation with parents and the provision of age appropriate individualized preventive information. A ‘knee-to-knee’ examination (pictured right) can be performed in either the dental clinic or a consultation room, but is not the main objective of the visit. Time spent in discussion with parents allows the child time to become accustomed to the environment as well as to the clinician, and may allow for an easier examination. White coats, masks and gloves are generally dispensed with for such a non-invasive examination, but hand-washing procedures are strictly observed. A child visiting his/her medical practitioner for an ENT examination will be approached in much the same way.
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