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BRUSH UP ON ORAL CARE

- Area Families Urged to Take Part in Fluoride Varnish Program Available at Daycares, Schools and Clinics This Fall -

Care to be cavity-free? The expansion of a no-cost Health Unit dental program can help ensure more children and teens in the area achieve just that.

This fall, the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit will again offer its popular Fluoride Varnish program for children attending daycares and Kindergarten classrooms across Haliburton County, Northumberland County and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Information about the voluntary, no-charge Fluoride Varnish program provided right at local schools or daycares will be sent home with preschoolers and JK/SK students in early September.

For students in higher grades, there is also good news as the Fluoride Varnish program is now available to all local youth up to 17 years of age. For these students, the Fluoride Varnish program will be offered on an appointment basis at Health Unit clinics in Lindsay and Port Hope. To learn more, call the Health Unit toll-free at 1-888-599-9399, text (705) 878-2723, or click here.

“If your child previously had Fluoride Varnish care at a daycare or in Kindergarten, he or she can continue to benefit from the program right through elementary and high school,” says Anna Rusak, an Oral Health Promoter with the HKPR District Health Unit. “The same goes for any older sisters or brothers who may not have been able to access Fluoride Varnish care in the past.”

Fluoride Varnish is a protective coating that is brushed on a child’s teeth, helping prevent new cavities by making the tooth enamel harder. The application of Fluoride Varnish is approved by Health Canada and the Canadian Dental Association. “Fluoride Varnish is recommended twice a year, every year, as an effective way to fight tooth decay,” Rusak says. “Fluoride Varnish goes hand-in hand with daily brushing and regular visits to the dentist, as part of a healthy lifestyle for a cavity-free childhood.”

The expansion of the Fluoride Varnish program is due to recent changes to the provincial Healthy Smiles Ontario dental support program. For the local Health Unit, the changes apply due to the fact no communities in its jurisdiction currently add fluoride to their municipal drinking water systems.

Rusak welcomes the expanded Fluoride Varnish program, especially in helping to combat childhood tooth decay in the region. It’s a problem that typically affects up to 40 per cent of local JK and SK students who are screened by the Health Unit.

“Tooth decay is one of the most preventable childhood diseases, yet we still see many JK and SK students in the area who suffer from the problem,” Rusak notes. “Expanding the Fluoride Varnish program to more youth in our area will help reduce the risk of cavities.”

For media inquiries, contact:

Anna Rusak, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 1216, or 1-866-888-4577.

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