Oral Health Month kicks off
© Thomas Becker - Amherst Daily News
Alexandra Theroux presents Grade 1 student, Olivia, with an oral health kit as Jennifer Poulos looks on.
AMHERST - No child should go without oral health services.
April is Oral Health Month and Cumberland County’s Community Health Boards are once again working with Public Health and the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board to get the word out on good oral health to children across the county from Grades Primary to 3.
Just last week the Nova Scotia government announced that children 13 or younger will soon qualify for Medical Services Insurance coverage for basic dental treatment, including yearly check ups, cleanings and fillings.
Jennifer Poulos, Public Health Dental Hygienist, said it will be beneficial to families across the region.
“This increased coverage will help older children and youth continue to receive important preventative oral health care as well as any necessary dental treatment. Good oral health is an integral part of good overall health, something we want to see last a lifetime.”
Each April, Poulos provides oral health promotion sessions to students. This year Grade 1 children are the target audience. CHB co-ordinator, Colleen Dowe, has been present for some sessions and said it’s great for children.
“The children love it. It is interactive and fun.”
Over 300 Grade 1 students will be given an oral health kit, provided by the CHB’s, containing a tooth brush, floss picks, tooth paste and a water bottle, as well as information on MSI coverage, proper brushing and flossing, and the benefits of drinking water.
Students in Grades Primary, two and three will be receiving a “Just Ask” card that offers a message encouraging parents, families and guardians to contact a dental office for information. A list of local dental offices with phone numbers is on the cards as well.
Alexandra Theroux, Chairperson of the SOAR Community Health Board, explains that the CHB’s started the “Just Ask” program to help increase the usage of the MSI dental coverage that is available to children up to age 10. There are “Just Ask” signs up in every dental office with the same design and information as the cards so people can easily recognize them and hopefully feel comfortable asking about coverage and any extra costs.