Say, ‘Oral health!’ Your smile can re­veal much about you

The Glengarry News - - The Opinion Page -

Oral health and gen­eral health go hand-in-hand, notes the Eastern On­tario Health Unit.

It’s im­por­tant to help kids de­velop good oral hy­giene habits from an early age. Oral dis­eases (e.g. cav­i­ties and gum dis­ease) be­come more com­plex over time and can af­fect how your child eats, looks and speaks. Children with poor oral health tend to strug­gle in school, have lower self-es­teem and can de­velop prob­lems with their health later in life.

Good oral health habits and reg­u­lar den­tal check­ups are needed to main­tain good oral health. Your child’s first visit to the den­tist should be sched­uled at about 1 year of age, or within 6 months af­ter the first tooth ap­pears.

For in­for­ma­tion about how to care for and en­cour­age your child’s healthy teeth, visit the Canadian Den­tal As­so­ci­a­tion’s Den­tal Care for Children web­site.

For some fam­i­lies, den­tal care may not be af­ford­able. The Min­istry of Health and Long-Term Care of­fers a pro­gram through On­tario health units that pro­vides den­tal care free-of-charge to children age 17 and un­der in low-in­come house­holds. The Healthy Smiles On­tario pro­gram cov­ers reg­u­lar vis­its to a li­censed den­tal care provider, such as a den­tist or den­tal hy­gien­ist, to es­tab­lish and main­tain good oral health. It cov­ers a full range of pre­ven­tive and early treat­ment den­tal ser­vices in­clud­ing check-ups, clean­ing, fill­ings, x-rays, scal­ing and more.

To find out if your child is el­i­gi­ble for the Healthy Smiles On­tario pro­gram, visit www.on­tario.ca/healthys­miles or call the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120.

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