Do you remember when the dental plan was not part of our healthcare system? Just under a year ago, Canadians did not have a dental care plan in their healthcare system. Now, dental care has been made more accessible by the Canada Dental Benefit to financially support families. This is great news, but before we celebrate, let’s see if the benefit plan includes you and I.
According to the Government of Canada, the Canada Dental Benefit will be eligible for families with an income under $90,000 and have children under 12 years of age. Around 500,000 Canadian children are estimated to benefit from the dental plan. This is a huge step forward in bringing affordable dental care to Canadians. However, there are many more of us that still struggle to pay for rent, gas, and food, in addition to dental care. Plus, this is a temporary measure that may not stick with the healthcare plan in the long-term, although a long-term support plan is what the Canadian government is aiming for.
As important as oral care is to ourselves and our families, it is just as important for us to work towards creating a healthier community through raising awareness regarding affordability issues and working together to make basic dental hygiene products available to all Canadians. Why is community health so important? Well, community health impacts society, quite significantly enough. Some consequences to poor community health are that it can reduce the level of life expectancy, happiness, crime, educational achievement, and more. Thus, improving public oral health can benefit all of us in reducing the spread of infectious diseases, promoting healthy living, and protecting the community as a whole.
One way you can contribute to public health is by donating to Toronto Tooth, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping Torontonians experiencing unstable housing to receive basic oral health care products, including toothbrushes, floss, and toothpastes. The size and amount of your donations do not matter — what is more important is for all of us to work together to help our community members reclaim their human right to health and basic hygiene necessities.
If you have a younger sibling or child under 12 years of age, be sure to look into the Canada Dental Benefit plan and get the financial support you and your family needs. With this new change made by the government, I am hopeful that you and I will one day receive dental care without feeling uneasy due to financial issues. Till then, let’s work together to promote community health and work towards creating a healthier and safer community!