The Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC) is partnering with the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit (WECHU) to provide free oral health screenings for First Nation, Métis, and Inuit (FNMI) people and their families in Windsor. The screenings include oral health education and help with forms and referrals for oral health services.
“Many Indigenous families experience challenges in accessing dental care,” says Elayne Isaacs, Integrated Care Manager at SOAHAC-Windsor. She adds that, “Part of offering free oral health screenings will be to help people understand what kinds of services are available to them, as well as to help them access those services.”
Oral health screenings can identify possible oral health problems that should be followed up with a dentist. A registered dental hygienist (RDH) performs a visual screening of the mouth for potential dental problems. This does not replace a complete exam with radiographs by a dentist. An RDH from the WECHU provides education on oral health and suggestions for oral hygiene routines.
“We are very excited about this partnership with SOAHAC. It will help us increase access to oral health services and improve the oral health of Indigenous people in Windsor-Essex and their families,” says Nicole Dupuis, Director of Health Promotion at the WECHU. The hygienist will assist individuals in completing any necessary application forms and make referrals to local oral health services, including the WECHU’s oral health clinics in Windsor and Leamington.
Free oral health screenings for all ages are currently offered every other Monday at SOAHAC-Windsor at 1405 Tecumseh Road West. Members of the FNMI community and SOAHAC clients can call SOAHAC to book an appointment with the hygienist at 519-916-1755.
Visit the WECHU website to find out what oral health services are available, or call 519-258-2146 x1199.