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Oral Health Month

April 2, 2024

April is Oral Health Month: Who is on your child’s oral health team?

April is Oral Health Month and the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit is promoting the theme: “We are stronger together”. It is a team approach to help maintain a child’s oral hygiene, from the child, parent/guardian, dental professionals, and public health. We all have an important role to play and are all on the same team with the same common goal: to ensure every child has the best oral health they can have!

Public health programs and services can complement and support those provided by other dental professionals; they are geared to the community as a whole, to promote and sustain oral health. One of the main roles is to provide dental screening in schools for select grades (typically JK, SK and grade 2) at all elementary schools; typically, the Health Unit staff will screen 4500-5000 children per year. They also help families enroll their children in the Healthy Smiles Ontario program, and provide oral health education to parents and children at all ages and stages to promote healthy growth and development.

During the month of April, the Health Unit’s goal is to engage students to think about their about oral health and participate in an Oral Health Month activity. Individuals in elementary schools from JK-grade 6 are invited to draw, colour, or paint a picture to show who is on their oral health team. Examples may include: how a child cares for their teeth at home by using the tips below, how their parent/guardian helps with their oral health care routine, what happens when they visit the dental office, or what dental screening looks like when our Oral Health Team visits their school.

Parents/guardians can email a photo to [email protected] to enter into a draw to receive an oral health friendly prize! Please include the child’s name, grade and school. There will be 10 lucky winners. The activity opens April 1, 2024 and the deadline to submit is May 1, 2024. 

During Oral Health Month, public health likes to remind everyone that in addition to school-based programs, they offer clinic and community-based oral health programs and services to promote the oral health of children. These include first year first visit oral health assessments, oral health resources for new parents delivered in hospital, oral health education and dental screening at EarlyON Baby Talk and Play and Learn groups, preventive clinical services (scaling, fluoride varnish, and sealants), support for the Healthy Babies, Healthy Children fluoride varnish program, provide dental screening for children 17 and under for the purpose of enrollment in the Healthy Smiles Ontario dental program, and monitor the fluoride levels in municipal water systems. The Health Unit’s Oral Health Team is also available to answer inquiries from community members, by phone or email.

Oral Health Month is also a great time for a reminder that maintaining good oral hygiene practices at home is essential at any age. Here are some tips on what you can focus on this month to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush 2 x daily for 2 minutes
  • Clean between teeth (i.e., floss) 1 x daily
  • Use fluoridated toothpaste (see recommended guidelines on our website)
  • Drink water and eat a variety of nutritious foods
  • Consult a dental professional regularly

For more information on oral health or the activity, please visit www.healthunit.org or contact 1-800-660-5853 or 613-345-5685 extension 2456.

Contact

For media interviews, contact: [email protected]