SAULT STE. MARIE – A province-wide dental program for low-income seniors is expected to help about 20,000 in the Algoma region.
“We’ve been receiving telephone calls from seniors for a number of years now requesting some type of service for dental and for their oral health, and so we’re really happy to see that finally it’s come to fruition,” commented Ann Cuzzolino, Dental Hygienist.
The idea is to provide low-income seniors over the age of 65 with a number of routine dental services.
“We will be providing dental cleanings here so scaling, fluoride treatments, that sort of thing as well as going forward working towards any basic treatment that they may need… fillings, teeth removed, dentures,” explained Cuzzolino.
Experts remind us good dental practices can impact both physical and mental health, and that a great smile can improve self-esteem.
“If you have painful, sore or infected teeth, you don’t eat as well, you are stressed because you are in pain, and individuals who are having dental problems are ending up in our emergency rooms and seeking care there,” said Marlene Spruyt, Algoma Public Health.
The Health Unit says its hope is to keep those people out of emergency rooms and instead, focus on preventative care.
“We always recommend regular brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste, flossing that’s important as well. Healthy eating and plenty of water,” said Cuzzolino.
Seniors who are eligible for this program and want to apply are asked to apply online or contact Algoma Public Health for assistance.