Quebec dental hygienists give back to community with free dental care
Diane Marcin couldn’t believe it when she saw a flyer advertising a free dental cleaning Saturday – she said she had to check it out for herself.
“I liked my experience with my hygienist, she was a sweetheart,” said Marcin, a Pincourt, Que. resident. “They’re very, very generous people.”
About two dozen hygienists spent the day in a high school gym in Pincourt, on the island of Île Perrot in Quebec, offering free teeth cleaning to patients.
Joy Maderazo, who owns and operates Tooth to Tooth, a mobile dental hygiene clinic, helped put the initiative together with the Ville en santé committee from the city of Pincourt and the Gift From the Heart charity. She says it’s important that everyone have access to basic care.
“I’m an immigrant so I know how it is to not have enough money to do the things that you really need to do,” said Maderazo. “And unfortunately, dental work falls into a more expensive category.”
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Maderazo says many people can’t afford dental care. Something like a simple cleaning – the main service hygienists were providing on Saturday – can cost someone up to $250.
“It’s just wonderful because cleaning now is just so expensive and for seniors, it’s hard to look after yourself if you don’t have the proper means, so this is absolutely the best thing that we’ve found,” said Pincourt resident Teri Shalala.
Maderazo says hygienists served about 25 adults on Saturday.
Her hope is that it will inspire others to do the same.
“I plan to make this an annual event here in Pincourt,” she said. “And I know my peers are already starting to get really interested in doing the same thing. I’m hoping this will just take root and spread all over.”
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