Valley health clinic promotes oral health awareness month

HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) — The Harrisonburg Community Health Center is working with a grant from the Virginia Health Care Foundation to make sure all of their patients can have access to the best oral care possible.

June is focused on for oral health awareness because a lot of children are out of school and routines may not be in place.

Dr. Krystal Mattox said since school is out, schedules can be less strict for children, which is why they make a push for oral health awareness in June. Dr. Mattox said developing healthy habits like brushing your teeth twice a day, especially in the morning and before bed, as well as flossing daily can create a great foundation for oral health.

"Anything we do in dentistry as far as, you know, some of the high tech stuff with fillings and crowns and stuff like that, if we do not have a good oral health foundation, then, you know, it may all break down," Mattox said. "We want to make sure that everyone has that great foundation of oral healthcare, and anything else we can do to take them to the next level, we want to be able to do that."

Harrisonburg's Community Health Center is a nonprofit that provides affordable primary care services throughout the valley.

"I really love the heart of this clinic, in terms of we put the patient first. We make sure that whatever we do has the patient's best interest at heart," Mattox said. "We do not let finances be a hindrance in that. We make sure that every patient comes in, no matter where they are financially, can get the best and utmost care that they can even get at a private office."

Mattox said it is important to see a dentist every six months because they can see things inside of a person's mouth that the naked eye can not. She also said getting dental x-rays are important for the same reason.

Poor dental health can lead to things like tooth decay, gum disease, mouth and throat cancers.