On October 1st, dental hygienists will join with Canadians across the country to celebrate our seniors and the valuable contributions that they have made and continue to make in our communities, workplaces, and families.
National Seniors Day, which coincides with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons, is an occasion to reach out, honour, and thank the seniors in our midst. It’s also a perfect opportunity to remind older adults of the importance of maintaining good oral hygiene habits as they age. Research has shown that bacteria in the mouth can grow at an alarming rate and find their way into the bloodstream, leading to serious infections. Unchecked plaque can also result in gingivitis, tooth decay, and periodontal disease, which is now recognized as a risk factor for lung and heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. For seniors, whose immune systems may be compromised, the consequences of poor oral hygiene can be devastating.
Dental hygienists have the skills, knowledge, and judgment to detect oral issues early on, and they can help to develop a daily oral care routine that will ensure optimal oral health at any age. So whether seniors are living on their own or in a long-term care residence, regular treatments by a dental hygienist can help to prevent more serious illnesses and keep everyone smiling and contributing to our communities for years to come.
Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 26,800 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 17,500 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 practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit: www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.