It’s a program with a goal of improving the dental health of elementary school children but it’s also an attempt to nudge Calgary city council into reversing a decision made six years ago.
“I wanted the community to know that we were going to make a difference as dentists and try to combat the fact that they took fluoride out of the water,” Dr. Sarah Hulland said Wednesday.
She’s talking about Brushing for Brightness.
Working with the Calgary Board of Education, the program puts kits into the hands of elementary school students to get them thinking about proper dental hygiene habits nice and early.
“Since they have taken the fluoride out of the water, we actually have a significant increase in cavities in children,” Hulland says, referring to a study from February of last year.
The University of Alberta study contrasted Grade 2 students in Edmonton to Calgary. Edmonton has fluoride in its water while Calgary removed it in 2011.
Hulland says the program delivers 12,500 dental kits, containing a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental floss, to all of the students in 50 Calgary elementary schools.
That’s up from 8,000 last year.
“If you start young, and you make a difference when they are young, you actually can make a difference for the children for a lifetime, because you instill the habits right out of the gate,” she explained.
Hulland says she hopes city councillors are watching.
“I know it is a highly controversial topic but it has made a difference and I would like to challenge city council to bring it back.”
My wife and I personally fought to get fluoride out of the Calgary water supply before we moved to Okotoks.
Me back in the day. We also proved voter fraud through exit polling.