All posts in Dental Health Tips

Ontario’s Narcotic Strategy

Courtesy of Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

In the past, you were able to get your prescription narcotic or other controlled substance medication without showing ID. That is changing.

Beginning November 1, you will be required to show acceptable ID to your doctor or dentist, and your pharmacist in order to get your prescription and have it filled.
Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy

What do I need to know?

What changes are being made on how I get my prescription?

In the past, you were able to get your prescription narcotic or other controlled substance medication without showing ID. That is changing.

Beginning November 1, you will be required to show acceptable ID to your doctor or dentist, and your pharmacist in order to get your prescription and have it filled.
What medications are included?

A number of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications are being monitored through the Narcotics Strategy.

Prescription narcotics are drugs commonly prescribed to relieve moderate to severe pain. A couple examples of common narcotic medications include:

* acetaminophen with codeine (Tylenol® 3) * oxycodone (OxyContin®)

Controlled substances are drugs listed under Canada’s Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. A few examples of controlled substance medications include:

* methylphenidate (Ritalin®) * benzodiazepines (Valium®) * barbiturates (Phenobarbital)

You can also speak with your doctor, dentist or pharmacist to see if any drugs you are currently taking are on the list.

What should I expect from my doctor or dentist?

Your doctor or dentist will ask you for an acceptable form of ID when you are being prescribed your medication. A unique number from your ID will be recorded on your prescription.

You may be required to present the same piece of ID to your pharmacist in order to receive your medication.

The information you provide will be recorded in the Narcotics Monitoring System, once implemented, to ensure proper prescribing and dispensing practices are being followed.

The Narcotics Monitoring System is currently under development, and is expected to be operational for Spring 2012.

Why do I need to show ID?

The abuse and misuse of prescription narcotics and other controlled substances is a serious public health and safety issue in Ontario. The monitoring of these medications through law exists to protect people from the harm that these drugs can do, while ensuring that the people who need them continue to do so.

The information on your ID will be recorded and monitored to help to ensure proper prescribing and dispensing practices are being followed.
What ID is acceptable?

There are a number of approved forms of identification you can use. Below are a few examples:

* Ontario Health Card or other health card issued by a Province or Territory in Canada * Valid Driver’s Licence or Temporary Driver’s Licence * Ontario Photo Card * Birth Certificate from a Canadian province or territory * Government-issued Employee Identification Card * Valid Passport – Canadian or other country * What if I’m picking up medication for someone else?*

Whether you’re picking up medication for a loved one, friend or neighbour, you will also be required to show your ID to the pharmacist. You must also ensure that the person you’re picking up the medication for has already provided valid identification for their prescription at the time the prescription is written.

The pharmacist will record your name and address and keep this information on file at the pharmacy.

What does the Ministry do with the information?

The information will be stored in the Narcotics Monitoring System once implemented. Information collected will be used to detect unusual or inappropriate behaviour, identify trends, enhance education initiatives and develop harm reduction strategies.

The Narcotics Monitoring System is currently under development and is expected to be fully operational early next year.

What is Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy?

The abuse and misuse of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications is a serious public health and safety issue in Ontario. A growing number of people are addicted to these drugs, using them outside their intended medical purposes, including unlawful activities and some dying as a result of this improper use.

To address these significant issues, Ontario has developed a strategy to educate health care professionals and the public on the proper prescribing and use of these medications.

Ontario’s Narcotics Strategy is promoting the proper use of prescription narcotics and other controlled substance medications while working to reduce drug abuse and addiction among Ontarians, while ensuring that people who need narcotics and other controlled substances for appropriate medical use will continue to have access to these medications.

A monitoring system is being developed to collect and store information on prescribing and dispensing activities for these medications. The information collected by the monitoring system will be used for improving prescribing and dispensing practices and stopping the use of prescription drugs for improper purposes.
For More Information

Call ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559.
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am – 5:00pm


Baby-bottle Tooth Decay

Baby-bottle tooth decay is a serious, but preventable, condition. It can occur when teeth are exposed to the sugars from carbohydrates for long amounts of time. Carbohydrates in liquids such as fruit juice and milk start to break down in the mouth into simple sugars. When these liquids are allowed to sit in the mouth, bacteria start feeding on the sugars. In the process, the bacteria produce acid, which can cause teeth to demineralize then decay if it remains in the mouth long enough.

This can happen if your baby is often:

  • Put to bed with a bottle filled with formula, milk, fruit juice, sugar water, or any liquid other than plain water
  • Given a bottle filled with sugary liquids or milk to calm or comfort him during the day
  • Given a pacifier dipped in sugar, honey or any other sweet liquid

Human breast milk does not promote decay unless it is given with other sources of carbohydrates. Infants who get a mixed diet are at risk for dental decay. It’s not just what your baby is drinking, but how often. The more time he or she has liquids other than water in his or her mouth, the higher the risk of serious decay. This is why it is dangerous to let your baby go to sleep with a bottle or use the bottle as a pacifier during the day. The teeth most often affected by baby-bottle tooth decay are the upper front teeth, although others can decay, too.

Your dentist or pediatrician might refer to baby-bottle tooth decay as early childhood caries (cavities), nursing caries or nursing-bottle syndrome. They all mean the same thing.

Baby-bottle tooth decay can occur only if your baby’s mouth has a type of bacteria called Streptococcus mutans. While S. mutans constitutes less than 1 percent of the oral bacteria in a child with very little decay, it accounts for more than 50 percent in children with early childhood caries

S. mutans is common and is passed from parent to child, usually when the child is between 6 and 31 months old. This period is called the “window of infectivity.” Keeping your own mouth healthy and decay-free will do much to help your child stay cavity-free.

In baby-bottle tooth decay, the top incisors typically are affected first. Often, decay occurs on the back, or tongue side of the tooth, which can’t be seen easily. The top teeth in the back of the mouth are affected next, then the bottom back teeth. The lower incisors usually do not become involved because the tongue lies over them and keeps the liquid away from the bacteria on these teeth.

Decayed teeth that are left untreated can cause pain and infection. These may require extensive and complex treatment to be saved. Teeth that are very badly decayed may need to be removed to remove the infection, decrease the risk of infection spreading to the face and allow the permanent teeth to develop in an infection-free environment.

Any type of liquid that contain carbohydrates can cause baby-bottle tooth decay if it remains around the teeth. This includes formula, milk, fruit juice, fruit juice diluted with water, sugar water or any other sweet drink. Milk breaks down into simple sugars, which are food for bacteria. Water is the only liquid that is okay for your child to have in his or her mouth for longer periods of time.

Here are some tips on preventing baby-bottle tooth decay:

  • Don’t put your baby to bed with a bottle filled with liquids that contain carbohydrates. This includes any liquid except plain water. Even watered-down fruit juice or milk can increase the risk of decay.
  • Wean your infant, in consultation with your physician, when he or she is 12 to 14 months old.
  • Don’t use a bottle during the day to comfort your baby unless it’s filled with plain water.
  • Don’t dip your baby’s pacifier in sugar or sugary liquids.
  • Don’t add sugar to your child’s food.
  • Clean your baby’s teeth and gums after each feeding.
  • Take your baby for his or her first visit to the dentist as soon as his or her first tooth erupts.
  • Teach your baby to drink from a cup by his or her first birthday.
  • Make sure your baby is getting the right amount of fluoride. If your town does not have fluoride in the drinking water, ask your pediatric dentist or pediatrician about fluoride supplements.

Top Tips for Keeping your Breath Fresh

Bad breath is caused by conditions in your mouth and is exacerbated by what you eat and how often you clean your teeth, tongue and gums. To ensure your breath stays as fresh as possible follow these simple tips:

  • Brush and floss daily, ensure you brush your teeth, your tongue and your gums. Bacteria collects far back on your tongue so brush as far back as you can.
  • If you are unable to brush and floss immediately after eating, drink water or chew sugar-free gum.
  • Gum disease causes bad breath. Gum disease is an infection that can lead to loss of gum and teeth. Flossing helps to remove food particles caught between the teeth and under the gum line. Regular visits to your dentist for cleanings can help reverse or prevent gum disease.
  • Certain foods can contribute to bad breath. Garlic, onion and some spices can affect your breath for up to 72 hours after eating. The proteins from these foods are expelled in your breath until they exit your system.
  • Dry mouth causes bad breath. Drink plenty of water or chew sugar-free gum to keep your mouth moist.

If bad breath persists talk to your dental hygienist and dentist.