On March 20, Canada’s dental hygienists will join in the global celebration of World Oral Health Day (www.worldoralhealthday.org). With the theme, “Be Proud of Your Mouth,” this public awareness campaign reminds people of all ages that good oral health can help us live a longer, healthier life.
“Oral health is essential to overall physical, social, and mental well-being,” explains Tiffany Ludwicki, president of the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA). “Research shows that, when biofilm accumulates on your teeth, it can lead to periodontal (gum) disease, which is associated with serious illnesses, such as cardiovascular and respiratory diseases, diabetes, and stroke.” As essential primary health care providers, dental hygienists help to prevent and detect oral health problems. They examine your head, neck, and mouth at appointments, make referrals when necessary, and work with you to establish personalized oral hygiene routines.
Dental hygienists support mouth health every day. “Preventive oral care is key to protecting your mouth and body,” adds Ludwicki. “Visiting your dental hygienist regularly—even during the pandemic, practising good oral hygiene at home, eliminating tobacco, and reducing sugary snacks and drinks, can improve your chances of enjoying good oral and overall health as you age.”
CDHA is the collective national voice of 30,219 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 20,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health. Dental hygiene is the sixth largest regulated 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.