Thursday, April 9, 2015

Free oral health programs for young children in southern Alberta

  • Pediatric dental care offered in southern Alberta through Oral Health Action Plan
Alberta Health Services

Alberta Health Services (AHS) encourages parents of young children to take part in free oral health programs offered in southern Alberta.

AHS’ provincewide Oral Health Action Plan — a partnership with AHS’ Population Health Promotion branch, dental health professionals, community organizations and schools — offers preschool and school-based programs to screen children for signs of dental disease and to assess the need for dental varnish and sealants.

The Preschool Fluoride Varnish Program provides services to children ages 12 to 35 months who are identified at high-risk for tooth decay because of family history or based on socio-economic criteria that include families new to Canada, single-parent or low-income families, and families who receive subsidies.

Children from kindergarten to Grade 2 might be eligible for free fluoride varnish and dental-sealant programs available at 75 public, separate and private schools across southern Alberta. To access these programs, participating schools send information to parents at the beginning of every school year. Parental consent is required to receive services.

If you would like to learn more about AHS dental health services in southern Alberta, contact:
  • Lethbridge Community Health Centre, 403-388-6776
  • Brooks Community Health Centre, 403-501-3312
  • Medicine Hat Community Health Services, 403-502-8240

The school-based part of the Oral Health Action Plan began in 2011; the preschool program one year later.

Parents are also encouraged to have their children attend regular dental visits. Dentists can provide a more comprehensive oral examination, take X-rays and treat tooth decay. The Canadian Dental Association recommends children see a dentist within six months of showing their first tooth or by their first birthday.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.

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