NEVAEH BRAUN, 8, has a pearly bright smile, but she still wanted to try cool, new dental equipment that glows blue and tests for oral cancer.
The Lotus Dental Group had one of this year's hottest attractions at the Winnipeg Wellness Expo at the Winnipeg Convention Centre, offering free on-site tests of new digital equipment that diagnoses signs of cancer.
Dr. Adelina Tan and her assistant provided about 100 free exams to curious passersby.
"We're promoting our service, it's the newest in the city and it's a digital scanner so you don't need to make impressions," explained Tan.
It may sound odd, but such a service is popular partly because people are shifting their attitudes when it comes to health care.
Gone are the days when people were patients waiting for their doctors to tell them when something's wrong.
"These people want to be proactive. They're taking responsibility for their own health," said Carolyne Braid, the expo's director of communications.
She said that's partly because the strain on health care is now accepted as a reality of life.
The thinking seems to be that if we can't rely only on medicare, we have to rely on ourselves, she said.
At the same time, aging is taking on a new significance with younger adults, Braid added.
"What we realized is people want to live to be 70 and they want to live to be a healthy 70," said Braid.
The mix of high-tech gadgets and traditional crystal practitioners and fitness devices drew crowds of young adults and fledgling families.
Some 20,000 complimentary tickets were handed out as a marketing tactic this year. It appeared to work, with lineups Sunday even as the final hours of the three-day event wound down.
There were 100 exhibits showcased.
Another hot item was a pair of soothing "electric chairs," a high-tech duo of massaging easy chairs with up to 1,000 settings for sore feet, hands, buns, back and neck.
The expo is the longest-running event of its kind in Western Canada, celebrating its 19th anniversary this year.