Teachers will soon be asked to teach toothbrushing 101 in Quebec, raising workload concerns


A tooth-brushing program that’s soon to be phased in throughout Quebec in elementary colleges is raising concern amongst academics as a result of they’ll be those known as upon to supervise the scholars as they clear their tooth.

The public well being protocols name on educators to monitor the two-minute tooth-brushing course of from begin to end as soon as a day.

“I think it’s a great idea, however, we cannot increase the workload of teachers. This is not their job. They need to hire people to implement this program,” stated Heidi Yetman, president of the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers (QPAT).

The on-site supervised brushing is supposed to assist enhance the well being of susceptible, youthful kids in Quebec, lots of whom endure from tooth decay, in accordance to an in depth abstract despatched by the well being ministry.

“No one is questioning the value and importance of ensuring that our children learn how to brush their teeth properly and that they have good oral hygiene but is that the responsibility of the school,” stated Peggy McCourt, the President of the Association of Administrators of English Schools of Quebec (AAESQ)

The Quebec Program for Supervised Brushing of Teeth with Fluoride Toothpaste in Educational Childcare and Elementary School (QPSBTF) was launched in 2017 by the well being ministry, however the pandemic slowed down its implementation.

During the early phases of this system, hygienists and public-health dental consultants had been dispatched to sure colleges, although solely in areas the place there was sufficient public-health workers out there.

According to the ministry, the plan was up to date in 2022. Now, the purpose is to get this system again on monitor, although it will be carried out progressively relying on the area.

More particulars are anticipated to be introduced on Friday. Danny Raymond, the spokesperson for Montreal’s Centre-South CIUSSS advised CTV News this system will seemingly solely start in the town’s colleges early subsequent 12 months.

The program will additionally process daycare educators with making certain all kids beneath 4 in their care obtain a day by day tooth-brushing session.


According to the rules at present posted on a authorities web site, the supervising instructor will be asked to guarantee the kids use an applicable quantity of toothpaste, spit out the surplus, use toothbrushes in good situation, and don’t share them or retailer them in an unsanitary means.

There are additionally guidelines about an infection management, hand washing, and the suggestion that kids brush their tooth in small teams.

The educators contacted are all on board with the premise of this system however stated, amid staffing shortages, the time-consuming routine will lower into their instructing and different obligations.

“It’s at what cost to our curriculum? We’re already very focused on the learning gaps that we’re trying to address coming out of the pandemic and the high levels of anxiety and mental health concerns,” McCourt stated.

McCourt stated, as an administrator at a faculty, she sees first-hand how academics’ workload has elevated dramatically through the years.

“We have schools that are still looking for teachers to hire,” so she and her colleagues are nervous principally concerning the period of time they’ll have to “invest,” she stated.

The ministry’s abstract states that “the integration of healthy dental habits into the lives of young people is a shared collective responsibility.”

Yetman stated the academics’ contract with the federal government expires in March of 2023 and they also will soon be heading into public-sector negotiations.

“We will be trying to improve teachers’ working conditions. Adding more responsibilities on the back of teachers will not retain and attract people into this profession,” she stated. 


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