Dental health is important, no matter a person’s age.
Saddle Mountain Dental Clinic (SMDC) is hosting two sessions of free dental checkups this month to make residents more aware of how their teeth can affect their health.
The first was May 4, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The next one is May 24, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
The checkups were meant to coincide with Nation Oral Health Month and National Dental Hygienist Week, which take place in April, but because of timing issues, the event was held this month.
Ashley Pendree, a dental hygienist at SMDC, came up with the idea for the sessions after seeing an article about a dental society in Nelson that offers 40 per cent off of the dental bill to those who make under $30,000 a year.
“What I was noticing was there was a large proportion of people in Nakusp that didn’t really go in regularly for whatever reason, they were just coming in for tooth extractions,” she said. “I thought ‘OK, this needs to change,’ and I didn’t want finance to be an issue.”
Pendree worked with the Arrow Lakes Health Care Auxiliary, who gave SMDC a grant to do the two sessions of dental checkups.
Along with getting a checkup and teeth X-rays, residents will also be given dental supplies, including a toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste.
For Pendree, these sessions are about more than just dental health.
“It’s not just about teeth, it’s about the whole body,” she said. “There are many kids in the community that have teeth pain, and can’t concentrate on schoolwork, and I think that’s definitely a long-term problem, you’re going to have your teeth until you’re about 82, and all dental disease is preventable.”