N.S. Public Health unable to offer school-based fluoride this year due to shortage
Starting in September 2020, the program will switch to fluoride varnish, a change that was planned before the shortage of mouth rinse was realized.
A nation-wide shortage of fluoride mouth rinse means Nova Scotia's school-based fluoride program will be skipping a year.
“It’s unfortunate that we’re faced with this unforeseen shortage, but this gives us the chance to readjust our delivery model in a way that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the program,” said Catherine Hebb, a director with Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA) Public Health.
NSHA offers the program to students in 129 public schools and serves 38 per cent of elementary students from Grades Primary to 6.
"Schools are targeted based on populations that can benefit the most from the program," a news release said.
Starting in September 2020, the program will switch to fluoride varnish, a change that was planned before the shortage of mouth rinse was realized, according to the NSHA.
Once implemented, the NSHA said the fluoride varnish program will only require two treatments per year instead of the suggested 26 treatments for mouth rinse, and will mean less class disruption.
“Oral health is a provincial priority for Public Health,” Hebb said. “We are excited to be moving toward a fluoride varnish that will increase efficiencies, allowing our team of dental hygienists more time to focus on other important areas of oral health, like water fluoridation and food insecurity.”