Way, way back in November, you might remember we took a look at dental issues around the world with a view to seeing where Canada ranked when it comes to oral health care. It was bit technical in nature but the overall good news was that Canada ranked in the top ten and that’s good news. Today, we thought we’d take a closer look at what is actually going on in Canada that helps to ensure we stay in the top ten! If you’ve ever wondered what sets us apart from other countries around the world, according to the CDA (Canadian Dental Association) here are some of the most important reasons why.
What Our Mouths Are Doing For Us
- First – the obvious. Good oral health care is so important because the reality is your mouth is doing A LOT of work, virtually ALL of the time!
- It is our intake source for life-sustaining nutrients like food and water.
- It is what allows us to speak, communicating with our loved ones, the community around us, our doctors and dentists and more.
- Our mouth shows our emotions because it’s what creates a smile or a frown, another way of communicating with the world, even a world largely governed by Zoom these days!
- In fifth place but crucial, think about this, your mouth is central to the system that enables us to breathe and I’m sure we’d all agree breathing is pretty darned important!
- Finally, it’s also safe to say that our mouth is often one of our first lines of defense against microbial infection and with heightened sensitivities around airborne infections these past couple of years, this too is important work that our mouths are doing.
The team at Brinkley Dental is pretty certain you’ll agree this is a significant amount of work for just one part of our body to do on a daily basis. Perhaps you will understand why we (and the CDA) believe proper oral health care is so important to your overall health and wellness. Luckily, in Canada, we have a government and a society that is committed to helping Canadians maintain their teeth, mouth and gums through easy access to dental care. While there is always room for improvement (and there has even been some talk over the years about Universal Dental Plan Coverage) the fact remains that in Canada “three out of every four Canadians visit a dental professional at least once per year.” That’s good news.
According to the CDA, wait times to see a dentist are amongst the shortest in the world and of course, Canadians are free to choose a dental practitioner that best meets their own family’s needs. Speaking of families, at Brinkley Dental that’s an area we specialize in. Known as “Brampton’s Gentle Dentist” we know patients can sometimes feel uneasy about a visit to the dentist and that’s why we strive to make each and every visit a relaxing and positive experience. We love serving families and are able to accommodate patients at every age and stage. Oral health care is particularly important in the younger years as a preventative for ensuring our teeth last us a lifetime. In Canada, statistics tell us that as recently as 2010 more than 22% of seniors (aged 60-79) had a condition known as “edentulism,” essentially meaning they have no natural teeth. For many, this might lead to inadequate nutrition intake, difficulty speaking and involuntary weight loss if not corrected with dentures or other forms of tooth replacement. Early access to excellent oral health care is therefore critically important and luckily in Canada, we have that kind of access.
Here are some other findings you might find interesting:
Economic burden of oral health disease
- The percentage of Canadians experiencing time-lost from normal activities for oral health reasons is 39.1%.
- It’s estimated that 2.26 million school-days are lost annually due to dental visits or dental sick-days.
- An estimated 4.15 million working-days for adults are lost annually due to dental visits or dental sick-days.
- Overall, an average of 3.54 hours per year is lost per person due to dental disease in Canada, including professional treatment.
Economic burden of oral health disease
- The percentage of the population that consults a dentist per year increased from 49.5% to 74.5%.
- The percentage of children with at least one decayed tooth decreased from 74% to 23.6%.
- The percentage of adolescents with at least one decayed tooth decreased from 96.6% to 58.8%.
- The average number of decayed, missing or filled teeth (per child) decreased from 6 to 2.5.
- The percentage of adults with no natural teeth decreased from 23.6% to 6.4%.
The report also identifies other important information relating to those who may not have access to regularly scheduled oral health care appointments. Not everyone has private insurance and we’ve certainly seen a great deal of information in the news lately about social determinants of health. Fortunately, there are programs available for those who may need extra supports when it comes to obtaining dental care including our veterans, Indigenous persons, refugees and other marginalized groups. Ensuring equality of access is an important measure of Canada’s overall oral health care rankings and if you need additional supports we encourage you to visit sources like the https://www.cda-adc.ca/ to see what might be available to support you or a loved one.
Many other topics are covered in this report and if you would like to learn more about what Canada is doing to increase both access to, and awareness of, excellent oral health care we encourage you to click on the link below. Your mouth does a significant amount of work each and every day so it’s critically important to guard against tooth decay. As we always encourage you, consider scheduling a visit with the family-friendly gentle dental team at Brinkley Dental in north Brampton AND as always: “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”