written and submitted by Jennifer De Sa

Dental health has been recognized as one of the most important aspects of our health, yet it
has remained outside of Canadian health coverage and is often unaffordable. However, there is
good news for older adults in British Columbia as they will have access to a new dental care
program starting from May 2024. This program will provide coverage for a wide range of dental
care services, including basic, major, and orthodontic services. All older adults who are 65 years
or older will be able to benefit from this program.

Approximately 1 in 4 Canadians reported avoiding visiting the dentist every year due to cost,
and according to the Canadian Dental Association, 32% of Canadians have no dental insurance.
An article written by George Hajishengallis, has also linked poor dental health with serious
health conditions including dementia, cardiovascular disease, diabetic complications, and
respiratory infections (2022).

As older adults age, their teeth go through changes which can include:
 Bones become less dense and strong
 Faster plaque build-up and in greater amounts
 Receding gums
 Increased tooth sensitivity
 Darker or yellower teeth

Poor dental hygiene can lead to various consequences such as cavities, gum disease, dry
mouth, and an increased risk of developing oral cancer. Therefore, it is essential for older adults
to get regular dental check-ups to prevent these consequences and maintain healthy gums and
teeth.

What you can do:
 Daily mouth care twice a day
 Regularly flossing and brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste
 Limiting sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and smoking
 Clean dentures daily and soak the dentures overnight in warm water or denture cleanser

To find out if you are eligible for the new Federal Canadian Dental Plan, please visit the link
below:
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan/qualify.html

*If you require additional assistance with your application, 411 Seniors Society welcomes you to
visit their center in person at 3502 Fraser Street, Vancouver BC V5V 4C5.
References
https://www.dondavies.ca/dental_care_for_all
https://www.canada.ca/en/services/benefits/dental/dental-care-plan/coverage.html#wb-cont
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/topics/oral-health/caring-your-teeth-mouth/senior.html
https://www.cdc.gov/oralhealth/basics/adult-oral-health/adult_older.htm

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