On March 20, Canadian dental hygienists will join in the global celebration of World Oral Health Day (www.worldoralhealthday.org). Using the theme “Say Ahh: Think Mouth, Think Health,” this public awareness campaign highlights the important connection between oral and overall health. Canada’s own National Dental Hygienists Week™, which takes place April 7–13, echoes this message by emphasizing “Oral Health for Total Health.
“Oral health is essential to overall physical, social, and mental well-being,” explains Sophia Baltzis, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). “Research shows that, when plaque accumulates on your teeth, it can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is a risk factor for serious illnesses, such as diabetes, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and stroke.” As primary health care providers, dental hygienists play a vital role in preventing and detecting oral health problems. They examine your head, neck, and mouth at every dental hygiene appointment, make referrals when necessary, and work with you to establish individualized professional and home oral hygiene plans.
“Preventive oral care is always the best option,” adds Baltzis. “By visiting your dental hygienist regularly, practising good oral hygiene habits, eliminating tobacco use, and avoiding sugary snacks and drinks, you can increase your chances of enjoying good oral and overall health as you age.” Canadian dental hygienists are proud to join in the fight to reduce the global burden of oral diseases. They invite you to “Say Ahh” and smile!
Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 28,495 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 19,000 individual members including dental hygienists and students. Dental hygiene is the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit: www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.