Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley, Haverhill, and Haverhill YMCA are having a free community oral hygiene clinic for adults, children and families Saturday, Nov. 7, at the YMCA, 81 Winter St., Haverhill, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
There will be free dental evaluations, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants and toothbrushes. Bilingual hygienists and community health advocates will be available and information provided about Mass Health dental coverage for children and adults.
All dental insurance, including Mass Health, will be accepted. Care is free for those without dental insurance.
“Oral health is critical to overall health, so it is important to inform residents about the importance of good oral hygiene,” said Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley President Joseph Roach. “This is the second community oral health clinic to be held in 2015 as part of hospital’s community benefits programming.”
Research shows that gum inflammation can trigger diseases that affect the whole body, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and kidney, lung, and liver diseases. These diseases can lower the body’s resistance to infection, making oral health problems even more severe and difficult to treat.
“We are excited to expand our partnership with Holy Family Hospital at Merrimack Valley. This is a great opportunity for Haverhill residents, and a true benefit to the community,” said Tracy Fuller, Haverhill YWCA regional executive director.
Many people believe they only need to see a dentist if they are in pain or think something is wrong, but having regular dental examinations and practicing good oral hygiene can actually help prevent most dental disease. It is estimated that 100 million Americans fail to see a dentist each year, and tooth cavities remain the most prevalent chronic disease of childhood.
According to the American Dental Association, the mouth is a window into the body because an oral exam can show signs of nutritional deficiencies and general infection. In fact, systemic diseases, which affect the entire body, may first become apparent because of mouth lesions or other oral problems.