For quite some time, Ontario has run a dental program which has seen children in low-income families receiving free emergency treatment. The ad for this states that if your child’s tooth hurts, they can help but where is the sense in making your children wait until they have punishing dental problems before they make that harrowing trip to the dentist?
Regular check ups and cleaning are just some of the preventative methods to resolving dental problems. The new $45 million “Healthy Smiles” program focuses on prevention but eligibility is restricted to children under seventeen years of age with the net income of their families less than $20,000. The Liberal’s 2007 election promise was different than these new plans, as the then-rules made free dental care available to every child and adult on low income.
With the problems it is experiencing courtesy of its deficit, the government is to have made a sensible choice in helping the children of those from the poorest of families, which add up to 130,000 but these figures do not take in consideration those on welfare who already receive free dental care. As this program is now being carried out through public health units, it is planned that expanding this to adults will be pain-free when the finances of Ontario improve. Moves such as this should be considered of the highest priority,
With children suffering from bad dental health thanks to poverty, imagine how difficult it will be for them to land jobs when they reach adulthood? The time to act is now.