Keeping children’s smiles healthy

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Committed to ensuring the health region is full of healthy smiles, dental health educator Dwight Krauss headed a free dental care session on Friday.

Local youngster Noah Bosch, 3, doesn’t quite know what to make of the situation, as he has his teeth inspected by local dentist and dental health educator Dwight Krauss on Friday. 

Committed to ensuring the health region is full of healthy smiles, dental health educator Dwight Krauss headed a free dental care session on Friday.

After inspecting a youngster’s mouth and painting fluoride varnish on his teeth, Krauss took a moment to explain Fluoride Fridays.

Held the first Friday of every month, the program offers free dental screening and fluoride varnish for youth aged six months to five years of age.

These free services, offered by the Prince Albert Parkland Public Health Region, are accompanied by a public education component, with Krauss informing the youngsters’ parents on how to best ensure their children’s dental health.

“There are always areas for improvement, but for the most part the people that access the service are pretty knowledgeable,” he said.

“Probably the biggest thing here is reviewing the brushing technique and discussing use of the bottle, and when that’s appropriate and when it’s not.”

Just prior to sleeping is the least appropriate time for the bottle, or for snacks of any type, because saliva’s natural flushing process is lessened while people sleep.

“(Food and drink) pools next to the teeth and the bacteria have a feeding frenzy, and the bacteria produces acid that baths the teeth in acid,” Krauss said.

When it comes to proper brushing technique, Krauss encourages parents to help children until they’re at least seven.

“They don’t have the manual dexterity to get to the teeth in the back. So, they’ll often miss the back teeth or miss one side. They may have one side they do better, so they need a parent to make sure they get all the teeth.”

These and other tips are provided during Fluoride Fridays, alongside a fluoride varnish that strengthens tooth enamel to keep teeth cavity free.

Fluoride Fridays are held at the Prince Albert Public Health Office, on the second floor of McIntosh Mall at 800 Central Ave., on the first Friday of every month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A similar program takes place at the Bernice Sayese Centre, during the afternoons of the first and third Wednesdays of the month.

Other programs take place in the schools, with Krauss and others providing youth with dental care and advice as their permanent teeth grow in.

For more information on any of these programs, phone 765-6502 or 765-6500.

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