A program offered in Okotoks is geared towards promoting dental health for local preschoolers.

The free-of-charge Preschool Oral Health Clinics were introduced following the Town's decision to discontinue flouride use in the local water supply in 2012.

Okotoks Family Resource Centre Coordinator Sherri Mullen says the clinics provide an opportunity for young children to get a jump start on oral health.

"The Town of Okotoks has been funding the program since fluoride was pulled out of the water in Okotoks," Mullen explains. "What it covers is a dental hygienist who will see people in the Preschool Oral Health program in a preventive manner. So, rather than putting the money into the flouride in the water, it's been moved into prevention."

In order to qualify for the program, preschoolers must be between the ages of 12 to 35 months and must be residents of the Town of Okotoks.

Mullen points out that the Preschool Oral Health Clinics will provide children with a visual dental check, a fluoride varnish and some tips on dental care. She says children can attend the clinic every six months, if needed, for another dental check and reapplication of the varnish.

"A lot of times, if there's no benefits plan, people are reluctant to get their kids in, whether it's for eye care or for oral health," she explains. "It just ensures that your child is being cared for and problems are being solved early, if there are problems."

The Preschool Oral Health Clinics are a partnership of the Town of Okotoks, Alberta Health Services and the Primary Care Network.

Anyone wishing to book a spot or find out more information about the program can call (403) 995-2662.

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