Heather Mayhew is hoping to offer an alternative Valentine’s gift to chocolate or candy this year — the gift of healthier teeth.
Mayhew is the owner and operator of Floss Dental Hygiene Services in Comox, and for the second year in a row is participating in Gift From the Heart, a one-day event which allows registered dental hygienists to give back to their communities by providing no cost dental care.
“Being in business I see a lot of barriers for people accessing dental care, but the number one here in the Valley would be a financial one,” explained Mayhew.
The nation-wide event originated in Ontario and encourages independent dental hygienists to open their doors and give back to the community, particularly for those who may be financially unable to receive dental hygiene care or who have difficulty accessing dental hygiene treatment.
Mayhew said it’s an opportunity for her to give back to the community and focus on preventative care.
“We won’t be doing anything like root canals or toothaches, but we’ll do things like cleanings.”
Last year, Mayhew said she saw approximately 20 people, and received assistance from other volunteers from the local dental community.
“Everyone was so appreciative and it’s a really happy environment.”
This year, there are 12 registered offices across B.C. which are participating, and Floss is the only independent clinic in the Comox Valley participating in the program.
The only criteria to register for the program is lack of dental insurance, explained Mayhew, in order to ensure aid goes toward those who truly need services.
While there may be a possibility of accepting drop-in patients, Mayhew said it is best for anyone interested in scheduling an appointment to call the office ahead of time and book an appointment.
Gift From the Heart is scheduled for Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 250-941-0488 or visit them on Facebook or flossdentalhygiene.ca.