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GIVING BACK

- Free Dental Cleanings Offered in Cobourg as Part of ‘Gift From the Heart’ Event -

(COBOURG) – Normally you would associate Valentine’s Day with the heart, but this year a local dental professional also wants you to think about ‘teeth.’

For the fifth straight year, Registered Dental Hygienist Mary Ito will be offering a ‘gift from the heart’ by providing free dental cleanings for local residents who cannot afford regular oral care. The free dental cleanings are set for Saturday, February 9, at the Northumberland Dental Hygiene Clinic located on 297 Division Street in Cobourg. The Cobourg event is part of the Gift From the Heart Day (www.giftfromtheheart.ca) being held across Canada.

Locally, people can make an appointment for the free dental cleanings by calling Northumberland Dental at (289) 252-0232 before February 5. Callers will be asked to answer a short survey to determine those most in need of dental cleanings. Accepted clients will be contacted the next day – on February 6 – and given an appointment time.

Ito, who is also member of the Northumberland Oral Health Coalition, says the Gift From the Heart event is one small way to address a serious problem in Northumberland County.

“Some people in our community do not get dental care on a regular basis due to high costs and other barriers,” Ito says. “This Gift From the Heart event, and others like it across the country, are intended to give care to those in need who might not be able to get it elsewhere.”

This year, approximately 80 Gift From the Heart events are being organized by Registered Dental Hygienists in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. While every effort is made to see as many clients as possible during the Gift From the Heart events, Ito says some people have had to be turned away in past years due to overwhelming demand.

Local residents who face challenges to access oral care can find out about publicly-funded financial assistance programs available to offset the costs of dental care for children and teenagers up to the age of 17 years. They can call the Health Unit at (905) 885-9100 or toll-free at 1-866-888-4577 for more information.

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For media inquiries, contact:

Mary Ito, Registered Dental Hygienist, Northumberland Dental Hygiene Clinic, (289) 252-0232,

or Anna Rusak, Health Promoter, Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 216.

or Anna Rusak, Health Promoter, HKPR District Health Unit, (905) 885-9100, ext. 216.

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