April is oral health month in Canada. Ads remind us to book an appointment with our dentist for a regular dental exam and to get our teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist. But in Canada's private dental care system, you have to pay to access both of these oral health services.
Our teeth and gums are part of our body, and poor oral health affects our overall health and well-being. Primary mouth care is not covered under OHIP, and hospitals are not equipped to deliver dental care. Ontario only has public dental programs for low income children under 18, and a patchwork of basic services for people receiving social assistance.