British Columbia Dental Hygienists Association (BCDHA)

British Columbia Dental Hygienists Association (BCDHA)

February 05, 2015 13:35 ET

B.C. Dental Hygiene Clinics to Provide Free Services to Those in Need

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Feb. 5, 2015) - In celebration of Heart Month and Valentine's Day, registered dental hygienists in B.C. are opening their doors and their hearts on Saturday, February 7, to provide no cost preventive dental hygiene services, including oral cancer screenings, as part of a national campaign. This is the third year clinics in B.C. have participated in the annual Gift from the Heart program.

The Gift from the Heart event gives dental hygienists the opportunity 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. This year dental hygiene clinics in Castlegar, Comox, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Richmond, Salmon Arm, Vancouver and Victoria will be participating in this program. The British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association (BCDHA) is a strong supporter of this event.

British Columbia has more than 3,500 registered dental hygienists who practice in a wide variety of settings, ranging from dental clinics to residential care homes. Registered dental hygienists are highly trained health professionals who focus on the prevention of oral disease and the promotion of oral health. They are primary health care providers who work closely with the entire healthcare team to support the overall health of individuals from infancy through end-of-life. British Columbia dental hygienists paved the way for independent practice almost 20 years ago and the number of independent dental hygiene practices has grown tremendously since then. Because dental hygienists can work independently outside the traditional dental office, the Gift from the Heart event also helps to build awareness about the public's right to choose their health care provider.

"We know that many British Columbians don't receive regular dental care, and may wait until they are suffering from tooth pain before making an appointment," said Brenda Morris, Chair of the British Columbia Dental Hygienists Association (BCDHA). "Evidence shows however, that serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease can be detected when oral health care providers such as registered dental hygienists and dentists are able to conduct a thorough oral examination."

"The Gift from the Heart program is gaining success in B.C. communities, and the number of participating dental hygiene clinics continues to grow each year," said Cindy Fletcher, BCDHA Executive Director. "Our goal is better oral healthcare for all British Columbians, no matter where they live or their financial situation."

British Columbians who are interested in seeing a dental hygienist on Saturday, February 7, should visit www.giftfromtheheart.ca for more details or to find a location near you.

The British Columbia Dental Hygienists' Association is the professional association providing practice and professional support to dental hygienists in British Columbia.

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