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Program helps keep smiles bright

Kaitlyn Frogge gets Flouride varnish put on her teeth by Dakota County Public Health nurse Joan Loesch. Below: Mary Retzlaff puts varnish on Rebecca Frogge's teeth. The varnish hardens teeth preventing cavities.

As Rebecca and Kaitlyn Frogge sat and waited to get their teeth varnished with fluoride, they both looked a little nervous. But after the two-minute procedure both girls felt fine.

"I was scared," admitted Rebecca.

In the end, though, she said wasn't too bad.

"It sort of tasted like bubble gum," she said.

The two girls took advantage of a Dakota County Public Health program that offers fluoride varnishing to help prevent cavities in their young teeth. The varnish, which was applied by public health nurse, helps harden the enamel of their teeth which prevents cavities from forming.

The girls' mother said dental insurance is expensive and the program helped provide preventive care to protect her girls from future issues.

Dakota County Public Health nurses Mary Retzlaff and Joan Loesch set up June 16 at the Rosemount Family Resource Center to provide the service. During a two-hour window they provided the varnish and new toothbrushes to more than 30 kids.

Hagen said public health offers the service to kids from their first tooth to age 18 and to pregnant women.

"A lot of folks don't have access to dental care. This is a good preventative measure for kids," said Loesch.

Dakota County Public Health offers similar events throughout the county. Hagen said the program is a small part of a federal mandate Child and Teen Check up program.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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