In celebration of Heart Month and Valentine’s Day, registered dental hygienists across Canada are opening their doors on Saturday, February 8, 2014, to provide no-cost preventive dental hygiene services as part of a national campaign.
In its sixth consecutive year, the Gift From the Heart event allows dental hygienists to reach out to their communities and help members of the public who may be financially unable to afford oral care or have difficulty accessing dental hygiene services. The Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) is a strong supporter of this event, and many of the participants in more than 100 clinics, from four provinces, are CDHA members.
“Because dental hygienists can work independently outside the traditional dental office, the event also helps to build awareness about the public’s right to choose their health care provider and the importance of preventing oral disease for a healthy mouth and healthy body,” says Bev Woods, CDHA member, event founder and participant.
Last year, dental hygienists across Canada saw approximately 860 clients during the one-day event. There is still time for professionals to volunteer their services and for the public to register for treatment. Visit www.giftfromtheheart.ca for more details or to find a location near you.
Saskatchewan and British Columbia dental hygienists paved the way for independent practice almost 20 years ago. With more recent changes to legislation in Alberta in 2006 and Ontario in 2007, the number of independent dental hygiene practices in Canada has grown tremendously. Manitoba (2008), Nova Scotia(2009), New Brunswick (2013), and Newfoundland and Labrador(2013) dental hygienists have benefited from more recent legislative revisions, joining the ranks of almost 900 independent dental hygiene practitioners nationally.
“These legislative changes have been pivotal in increasing access to care,” says CDHA president Mary Bertone. When independent dental hygienists participate in community events like Gift From the Heart, they further support and promote Canadians’ ability to choose alternative oral health providers. “I am proud of my dental hygiene colleagues who are taking advantage of this opportunity to give back to our communities,” adds Bertone.
Serving the profession since 1963, CDHA is the collective national voice of more than 26,800 registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 17,000 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 practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health. For more information on oral health, visit: www.dentalhygienecanada.ca
We are dental hygienists and TOGETHER we can make a difference… One Smile at a Time!