April 3, 2023 – Ottawa, ON: April is National Oral Health Month in Canada. This year, there is much to celebrate.
The Canada Dental Benefit launched in December 2022 is already helping children under age 12 from lower-income families access dental care that may have previously been out of reach. Last week’s commitment in the federal Budget 2023 to expand the benefit to include more Canadians promises to yield even more long-term gains in oral and overall health.
“Taking care of your gums and teeth is about much more than a healthy smile,” says Dr. Lynn Tomkins, president of the Canadian Dental Association (CDA). “Oral health is an essential component of overall health. Allowing more people to visit the dentist early and regularly is a wise investment in Canadians’ overall health and our health care systems.”
National Oral Health Month is a good opportunity to remind all Canadians about the importance of visiting your dentist regularly and practising good oral hygiene between visits.
CDA reminds Canadians to follow these five steps to good oral health:
- Visit your dentist regularly;
- Eat a well-balanced diet;
- Check your mouth regularly for signs of gum disease and oral cancer;
- Limit alcohol, and avoid smoking, smokeless tobacco and vaping; and
- Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, and floss once a day.
“Maintaining a healthy mouth allows you to enjoy life to the fullest,” adds Dr. Tomkins. "With regular check-ups, your dentist can make sure that you don’t have dental problems, remove any unhealthy buildup on your teeth and gums, and reduce your risk of dental decay or gum disease. By working with your dentist as your partner in health, you can learn how to prevent oral diseases which is important to maintaining good overall health.”
Oral health remains a recognizable and significant public health issue. In February 2023, CDA published Bridging the Financial Gap in Dental Care: Building a sustainable and effective federally funded program, a policy roadmap for the federal government as it seeks to enhance access to dental care for Canadians.
“Dentists see firsthand the impact that poor oral health can have on a person's overall health,” says Dr. Tomkins. “We are very pleased that the federal government and policymakers are taking steps to make oral health a priority and more accessible to Canadians.”
Stay tuned to CDA’s social channels for next steps on the expansion on the federal dental care program, which is expected to include children under age 18, seniors, and persons living with disabilities by the end of 2023, and all other eligible adults by 2025.
About the Canadian Dental Association
The Canadian Dental Association (CDA) is the national voice for dentistry dedicated to the promotion of optimal oral health, an essential component of general health, and to the advancement and leadership of a unified profession. CDA, a non-regulatory authority, is a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization whose corporate members are Canada's provincial and territorial dental associations (PTDAs). CDA represents over 21,000 practicing dentists from coast to coast to coast.
Head of Communications
Canadian Dental Association