June 14, 2021

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Extraordinary healthy

Dental care is health care. Maine children need access to it.

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Dr. Norma Desjardins has been a general dentist in Presque Isle for 29 years and is the founding executive director of St. Apollonia Dental Clinic, a nonprofit dental center serving children and families in Aroostook County. She is vice president of the Maine Dental Association. Dr. Erica Hidu is a graduate of the Tufts University School of Medicine’s Maine Track Program. She is currently an internal medicine and pediatrics resident physician in Portland and is an active member of the Maine Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Most of us don’t consider the effect of oral health on our overall health and well-being — until we have a problem with our oral health. The mouth is the gateway to the body and what happens in our mouth can affect the rest of our body. This can range from people with diabetes struggling to maintain healthy blood sugar levels to infections spreading from the mouth to other parts of the body. As a pediatrician and a dentist, we know the health of the mouth is a key part of overall health; however, getting regular preventive dental care is a challenge for many children in Maine.