All about the Alberta Oral Health Program for Toddlers and School Children
Every child deserves to have healthy teeth but not all families can afford to see a dentist regularly.
Because of this, the province of Alberta offers preventive dental treatments for preschool and school-age children from low-income families.
Fluoride protection for toddlers
The Alberta Oral Health Program offers fluoride varnishes to toddlers aged 12 to 35 months old. Registered dental assistants and hygienists brush the treatment onto children’s teeth as they sit on their parents’ laps. This service can be redeemed by each child up to four times and is offered once every six months. It can be implemented even if the child only has a few teeth.
To find out if your child is eligible for this program, visit the Alberta Health Services website.
School oral health services
Selected schools in low income neighbourhoods offer preventive dental services. Children from kindergarten to grade two can receive fluoride varnish treatments and those in grade one and two are offered dental sealants. Registered dental hygienists and assistants administer these services. If your child’s school participates in this program, they’ll send you a consent form and information
For more information about this program, visit the School Oral Health services page from Alberta Health Services.
Why these treatments are important
Fluoride varnishes and dental sealants work together to help prevent tooth decay in children who may or may not visit a dentist regularly. Here’s what you should know about them:
• Fluoride varnish. A concentrated form of fluoride is applied to teeth using a special brush. It dries almost immediately and kids can eat and drink right away following the treatment. However, their teeth shouldn’t be brushed for a few hours after application of the varnish. Minerals in the fluoride treatment help prevent tooth decay and can help strengthen weakened teeth. The treatment wears off with regular tooth brushing.
• Dental sealants. The grooves and bumps on molars are hard to clean with regular brushing and flossing. To protect these areas from tooth decay, dental sealants are applied to the chewing surfaces of molars and other teeth that are used for chewing. They act as a shield for the teeth against acid and plaque that can damage the teeth. Sealants can last up to ten years, but not all teeth benefit from them.
By combining these two treatments, the chance of tooth decay is greatly reduced, saving you from costly dental repairs.
If you’re concerned about your children’s teeth, visit a dentist at the Janz Family Dental clinic. We offer sealants, fluoride treatments, teeth cleaning and check ups for kids and adults in West Edmonton. Call us today to make an appointment.