Getting back to dental hygiene during the pandemic
According to a national poll conducted by Abacus Data for the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA), many Canadians have delayed professional dental hygiene care since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The poll of 2,000 adults, conducted between Jan.15 and 18, revealed that only four in 10 Canadians have seen their dental hygienist since March 2020. Thirty-seven percent of those who haven’t received dental care said they were deferring all non-essential appointments; 32 percent were hesitant about the safety of professional dental hygiene care during the pandemic. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.17 percent, 19 times out of 20.
More information about the poll results is available at http://www.cdha.ca/dentalhygieneduringcovid.
“These results are concerning, given how important oral health is to overall health and well-being,” said Tiffany Ludwicki, president of CDHA. “Poor oral health affects our ability to eat, laugh, speak and smile, and is a risk factor for serious health complications such as diabetes, respiratory and heart diseases and stroke.”
As essential primary health care providers, dental hygienists play a vital role in preventing and detecting oral health problems. They examine your head, neck and mouth at every dental hygiene appointment, make referrals when necessary and work with you to develop individualized professional and at-home oral care plans.
Of those poll respondents who have seen their dental hygienist since last March, an overwhelming majority (nine in 10) agree they felt safe during their appointments and enjoyed the same level of care or higher.
“Dental and dental hygiene offices implement strict infection prevention and control practices,” Ludwicki said. “Canadians of all ages can rest assured that professional dental hygiene services, even during the pandemic, are extremely safe. Dental hygienists are committed to maintaining a healthy clinical environment at all times to protect you and your family. See for yourself at your next appointment.”
CDHA is the collective national voice of 30,219 dental hygienists in Canada, directly representing 20,000 individual members, including students. Since 1963, CDHA has worked to advance the profession and promote the importance of oral health.
Dental hygiene is the sixth largest regulated health profession in Canada, with professionals working in a variety of settings, including independent dental hygiene practice, with people of all ages, addressing issues related to oral health.
More information on oral health is available online, at www.dentalhygienecanada.ca.
(Source: Canadian Dental Hygienists Association)