Canadians take pride in everything they do. It’s a noble country, full of well-meaning and hardworking people. The rigor and stick-to-itiveness of its citizens has earned Canada a place amongst the world’s elite. It’s a country built on elbow grease, sweat and dedication, and has earned the right to call itself, a world leader.
However, as we all know, the true measure of a nation’s prestige is its dental health. Power, wealth, and influence are tawdry measures compared to the cleanliness of a nation’s pie-holes. Across the world, the smiles of citizens reflect the light of a nation’s glory. So how does Canada fare in this this duel of dentine, this contest of cavities, this game of gums? Let’s find out!
A World Leader In Oral Health
As the national authority on all things dental health and oral cleanliness, the Canadian Dental Association recently released their findings about the national dental health of Canada. They combed through dental records, insurance documents, and various other metrics to assemble their data and compare it to the rest of the world. If you’re curious, you can find their data right here: https://www.cda-adc.ca/stateoforalhealth/
According to their findings, it seems that Canada is among the most orally-healthy countries in the world. This ranking is not only in terms of actual health, but also awareness, interest, and action. This means that Canadians are not only some of the most orally-healthy people in the world, but also have a passion for dental care that rivals or exceeds most other nations.
One of the most important metrics for national dental health is what’s known as the decayed, missing, and filled tooth index (DMFT). This gives the most quantifiable and comparable look into a nation’s relative oral health. When it comes to the DMFT, Canada really outshines the competition. The DMFT is measured with 12 year-olds, and Canadian adolescents scored overwhelmingly better than the global average.
Here’s The Good News
Canadians rank amongst the world’s most favorable countries when it comes to the prevalence of decayed teeth, chipped teeth, gum disease, and oral cancers. This is believed to be spurred by Canadians’ overwhelming access to dental services and affordable insurance. Essentially, Canadians’ increased access to dental health services has improved overall dental health. Who would’ve thought!
Three out of every four Canadians visit the dentist at least once a year. This speaks to the aforementioned passion that Canadians have for their oral health. Elsewhere in the world, like the US for instance, dental health is seen as largely unessential. Many in the global community view dental care as being on a lower tier when it comes to national health. However, in Canada, 84% of people take pride in referring to themselves as orally healthy.
Here’s The Bad News
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t still a lot of improvements that need to be made. Oral health is not a universal gold star for all of Canada’s people. Many of the most disenfranchised groups in the country have little or no access to Winnipeg dental clinics and other comprehensive dental care. This includes seniors, immigrants, children, the disabled, and indigenous people. These groups, which have unfortunately been largely relegated within society, still struggle to maintain proper oral health.
The CDA has called for collaboration between the dental community, the federal government, and national charities. Their aim is to bring the most specific and necessary care to each of the nation’s least-enabled populations. Through rigorous research, planning, and unilateral action, the CDA hopes to bring truly affordable dental care to all Canadians and extend the nation’s oral prestige to its entire people.
When it comes to global dental care, Canada shines with the best of them. When it comes to access, enthusiasm, and level of care, Canada is among the world’s leaders. The ranking, though more complicated than this, can essentially be broken up accordingly. France, the Czech Republic, the UK, and the Slovak Republic are the only industrialized nations with superior overall dental health to Canada.
While there is some much-deserved pride to be derived from this fact, there is still quite a bit of room for improvement. Despite Canada’s overwhelming access to health services, the access of the disenfranchised is abysmal. Taking targeted steps toward providing more Canadians of all backgrounds with dental care means a better global ranking and brighter smiles all around.