April is Oral Health Month in Canada and the Grey Bruce Health Unit is marking the occasion by shining a light on the importance of maintaining good dental health, an essential component of overall health and quality of life.
This year’s Oral Health Month comes as public health works to complete a $320,000 project to upgrade its dental clinic at the health unit headquarters in Owen Sound. The newly renovated clinic is expected to open in May.
“The Grey Bruce Health Unit is excited to welcome clients into our newly renovated clinical space. The clinic updates include new X-ray equipment, new patient chairs and the creation of an additional treatment room. We thank our clients for their support and patience while we complete this endeavour,” says Jason Weppler, the program manager overseeing GBHU’s oral health portfolio.
The updates will make the clinic more senior-friendly and the new treatment room will enable public health’s dental team to see even more clients.
As Grey-Bruce, along with the rest of Ontario, continues to focus on emerging and recovering from the two-year COVID-19 pandemic, public health wants to remind residents that maintaining good overall health includes maintaining oral health.
Periodontal disease, for example, has been linked to more serious illnesses, including lung disease, diabetes and heart disease.
“During Oral Health Month, we also want to remind the public of some of the key steps to maintaining good oral health – brushing at least twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth daily, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, eliminating tobacco use, eating healthy foods and visiting your dental professional regularly,” Weppler says.
An important part of Oral Health Month is National Dental Hygienists Week, set for April 4 to 10. This year’s theme is Oral Health for Total Health, which the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association says serves as a reminder that taking care of our mouth, teeth, and gums has a positive impact on other aspects of our lives.
The Grey Bruce Health Unit oversees or administers four oral health programs. They include the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP), which provides free dental services to eligible, low-income seniors aged 65 and over, and Healthy Smiles Ontario, which provides free oral health programs for eligible children up to 17 years of age.
For more information, visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit website (https://www.publichealthgreybruce.on.ca/Your-Health/Dental) or call 519-376-9420 and press 8 for dental.