With the Town of Okotoks’ three-year preschool oral health care program now complete, Alberta Health Services is urging the Town to keep oral health in mind.
The Town was in a three-year agreement with the Okotoks Primary Care Network to work with AHS to provide free oral health clinics for young children aged 12-35 months.
Medical Officer of Health for the Calgary Zone Dr. Richard Musto says the program was born out of necessity.
“It was introduced by the Town after the decision to discontinue community water fluoridation, which is a more efficient and further-reaching measure,” he says. “But, in the absence of that, this was a welcome thing that Town Council did and we’ve asked them to continue that.”
Dr. Musto says he believes re-introducing fluoride into the Town’s drinking water is a much better solution than bringing back the three-year oral health care program.
“It’s something that reaches everybody,” he says. “Nobody has to make an additional effort to have a one-on-one with a health professional, so it’s far-and-away the most cost-efficient way of bringing health benefits of fluoride to the public.”
While Council has agreed to look further into either renewing the oral health care program, or re-introducing fluoride into the Town’s drinking water, Dr. Musto say’s they’ll keep pushing the matter.
“Alberta Health Services pushes all communities to support (oral health),” he says. “So, we will continue to work with the Town of Okotoks on this, and anything else they may do to support the oral health of children.”
Over the three years, 201 clients took advantage of the free oral health clinics.
Title of article: AHS Pushing For More Oral Health Care In Okotoks