The saying goes, "let a smile be your umbrella," but there are a whole lot of people out there for whom their smile is a source of grief, and not a source of relief. Before we go into Election Day, let's hear from some people talking about one of the election issues that has not gotten a lot of press, but is nonetheless factored into every major party platform in someway: dental care.
Did you know that poor oral health is associated with heart disease, diabetes, premature delivery, low birth weights, and negative social impacts like how a person feels about themselves, or how they relate to others? It's a pretty big deal in other words, having a healthy mouth, but only two-thirds of the people covered under the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health umbrella, and one-third of seniors, have some form of dental insurance.
For the rest, seeing a dentist is a luxury they can't afford, and that creates whole wide world of other problems. The worst of the worst eventually find their way to the emergency room, where there are no dentists, and all they can do is treat the pain, which doesn't do much if the problem is a broken tooth, or an abscess, or the need for a root canal. In much the same way that mental health patients have put added pressure on hospitals that can't do much for them, so have, to a lesser extent, oral health patients. The problem is the same though: limited resources and options for people that need specialized medical care.
But don't let the numbers alone persuade you. This week on the podcast we're joined by Dana Nuttley, who's going to lay out his first hand experience living with oral health problems and the government red tape he's had to unravel to get help. We're also joined by Peggy Nickels, health promoter at Guelph Community Health Centre and chair of the Guelph Wellington Oral Health Action Committee, who will explain the advocacy piece of this and why oral health should definitely be a consideration as people go to the polls.
So let's talk about putting our money, literally, where our mouths are on this week's Guelph Politicast!
You can find the 2015 Oral Health Status Report at the Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health website here, and you can read the Dental Health Access Resolution that was passed by council at the behest of the OHAC back in April here.
And remember that tomorrow is Election Day in the Province of Ontario, and after you've voted, tune into CFRU 93.3 fm or cfru.ca starting at 8 pm to hear "Ontario Election: Infinity War", as we cover the races from Ontario, and keep you up to date with the Guelph results.
The theme music for the Guelph Politicast is from the KPM Klassics collection by Syd Dale.
The host for the Guelph Politicast is Podbean. Find more episodes of the Politicast here.
Remember that the Politicast Podbean channel is also the host for podcast versions of Open Sources Guelph. The previous Thursday's episode of Open Sources will be posted on Mondays.