Been avoiding the dental office? Here’s why it’s so important

by | Mar 3, 2024 | Health and Wellness

Have you ever skipped a dental check-up or suffered through a toothache because you didn’t have insurance and couldn’t afford to pay for treatment? According to Statistics Canada, one in four Canadians avoid the dentist due to the cost.

“Aside from the immediate pain, ignoring oral health issues can lead to more serious problems, including lung disease, cancer and increased risk of stroke,” shares Marika Nadeau, director general with Health Canada’s Oral Health Branch.

If you’ve been unable to receive dental care due to the cost, you may qualify for the newly launched Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP). The plan is estimated to help up to 9 million Canadians afford to take care of their oral health once it’s fully implemented.

Open to Canadian residents with an annual family income under $90,000 who don’t have access to dental insurance, the plan will help cover the cost of most basic oral health care services, including check-ups, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, root canal treatments and dentures.

As of December 2023, the plan is accepting applications from seniors by age group. You’ll get a letter inviting you to apply via telephone if you might be eligible.

Other groups, including children under the age of 18 and adults with a valid Disability Tax Credit Certificate, can start applying via an online portal as of June 2024. All other eligible residents will be able to apply in 2025.

Coverage will be phased in over time, but some participants enrolled in the plan will be able to start seeing an oral health provider as early as May 2024.

While you wait for your turn to apply, remember to:

  • Remove plaque by brushing your teeth for about 2 minutes at least twice a day.
  • Floss daily to remove plaque between your teeth.
  • Use water, toothpaste or rinses containing fluoride to strengthen your teeth.
  • Check your teeth, gums and mouth regularly.
  • Avoid using tobacco products.
  • Stay active and make healthy food choices.

Learn more about the plan at canada.ca/dental

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