Oral Health Group

BC Dental Hygienists Provide Dental Care for Underserved

June 6, 2018
by British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association

The British Columbia Dental Hygienists Association’s Caring Campaign will provide dental hygiene care for underserved or disadvantaged British Columbians who might not otherwise be able to access these important services. This project is a collaborative initiative between the British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association (BCDHA), corporate sponsors Sunstar and Maxident, and independent dental hygiene practitioners across BC.

BCDHA worked closely with four independent dental hygienists in Castlegar, Kelowna, and Fort St. John to identify deserving individuals or families from these communities. Over the coming weeks, those selected will visit their local dental hygiene clinic to receive preventive dental hygiene services that will be paid for by the Caring Campaign.

While we once believed that the worst outcome of gum disease was tooth loss, we now know that oral health matters from head to toe. Like smoking, elevated cholesterol or obesity, periodontal (gum and bone) disease may be a risk factor for a number of serious health conditions like diabetes, premature or low birth weight babies, heart disease, stroke, pneumonia and other respiratory infections.

For those with gum disease, the simple act of brushing their teeth or chewing can injure gum tissue, allowing bacteria to enter the bloodstream. It is believed that these bacteria may travel to other parts of the body, potentially worsening various health problems.

Dental hygienists focus on disease prevention and are highly trained professionals who specialize in clinical therapy, oral health education and health promotion. As part of the 6th largest registered health profession in Canada, they assist British Columbians in preventing oral health issues like gum disease and cavities, and with the early detection of oral cancer. Through BCDHA’s Caring Campaign, BC dental hygienists are helping those in their communities that may not otherwise be able to afford access to professional oral health care.

The British Columbia Dental Hygienists’ Association represents over 3,800 dental hygienists who work in dental hygiene clinics, hospitals, community centres, residential care facilities and dental offices across the province.