A national, non-profit organization with a mission to advocate, educate and improve oral health care for persons with special needs has launched its new website. The Oral Health, Total Health (OHTH) website allows readers to learn about the challenges facing persons with special needs when it comes to accessing oral health care, and find information on OHTH initiatives and its various chapters located across the country.
The website’s resources include videos from past Sharing Smiles Day events—the annual cornerstone event hosted by each OHTH chapter. Sharing Smiles Days bring persons with special needs together with dental and dental hygiene students for a day of fun activities and demonstrations of oral hygiene practices. The events provide future dentists with opportunities to foster positive relationships with persons with special needs—a patient population many dentists may not feel comfortable treating—and encourage lifelong commitments to improving their access to dental care. Dates for the 2013 Sharing Smiles Days are on the new website.
"Oral Health, Total Health is more than an organization—it’s a movement that touches hearts, thoughts and actions; a movement that instills the realization that every dentist, dental hygienist and careworker can make a difference for persons with special needs,” says Dr. Alison Sigal, president and founder of OHTH and dental resident at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. “Through a unified effort, we can live in a world where all persons regardless of their disabilities have universal access to oral health care."
OHTH was founded in 2008 by Dr. Sigal when she was a first-year dental student and was initially led by students and faculty from the University of Toronto faculty of dentistry. Since then it has grown to include 4 chapters, each led by dental students and faculty members from their respective faculties and colleges. Plans are underway to reach all faculties of dentistry and public dental hygiene colleges across the country.
For more details about OHTH and how to get involved, visit http://ohth.ca/.