Dental hygienists at Smile Sensations in Smiths Falls will be offering a day of free dental care for the eighth year in a row, as part of the nationwide Gift from the Heart event Saturday, April 8.
Attending a regular Smiths Falls town council meeting on April 3, Lori Lawrence and Elise Brown of Smile Sensations explained that the event, originally a Valentine’s Day gift, has been moved to April this year to coincide with the start of National Dental Hygiene Week.
The day of no-cost dental hygiene care for those who cannot afford it began in 2009. “The response was overwhelming,” Lawrence told councillors. “There’s an awful lot of people who can’t afford dental hygiene service.”
Since 2009 across Canada, over 5,000 people have received no-cost dental hygiene. Registered dental hygienists have provided over $500,000 worth of care.
Brown said staff members at the Smiths Falls clinic try to keep track during the year of people who may need the free service. As the day approaches, they reach out to as many of these people as possible. “It really could be a life-changing event for them,” she said.
Councillor Dawn Quinn said the event highlights the need for change in a system which provided universal medical care, but overlooks the need for dental care. “Politics moves very slowly, but eventually you may get through,” she said.