If the cost of a medical procedure meant one in 10 Canadians had to live in pain because they couldn’t afford it, it would seem like a failure of universal health care. It flies in the face of the basic premise that access to care should not be dictated by economic status.

Unless it’s a dental procedure. That’s the exception — the huge yawning gap — in our health system that allows 10 per cent of Canadians to live with mouth pain, as if mouths weren’t part of bodies and oral conditions weren’t part of health.

Today in The Conversation Canada, Catherine Carstairs of the University of Guelph explores the reasons for this gap, why oral care was left out of medicare when it was established, and the very real impact of this oversight on Canadians’ health and the overall health-care system.

Also today:


Patricia Nicholson

Health + Medicine Editor

A public dental care plan would give many Canadians reason to smile. (Unsplash)

Filling the gaps: Why Canada still needs a public dental health plan despite decades of medicare

Catherine Carstairs, University of Guelph

Canada’s health system does not include dental coverage, leaving a large gap in care that’s existed since its beginning. It’s time to ensure access to oral care.

One project with the Art Gallery of Western Australia, researchers and children saw children respond to a painting by Wangkatjunga/Walmajarri artist Ngarralja Tommy May. (Mindy Blaise and Jo Pollitt)

How early childhood education is responding to climate change

Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw, Western University

Researchers and educators with the Climate Action Childhood network are generating responses to climate change alongside young children.

Final approach on the air charter into the Voisey’s Bay mine, a fly-in/fly-out nickel, copper and cobalt mine located near Nain, Nunatsiavut, in northern Labrador. (Matthew Pike)

As mining activity expands in northern Labrador, COVID-19’s ‘new normal’ difficult to accept for Nunatsiavut Inuit communities

Matthew Pike, University of Guelph

‘Living with COVID-19’ has much higher risks for Nunatsiavut Inuit communities than many other areas. Recognizing those risks is crucial as mining operations resume in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Almost as many trained early childhood educators work outside licensed child care as in it. Many say they would return to the field if offered decent work. (Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for EDUimages)

Children across Canada deserve a professional early childhood education workforce

Emis Akbari, University of Toronto; Kerry McCuaig, University of Toronto

Staff recruitment and retention challenges aren’t seen in public child-care centres, where educators are paid substantially more, are unionized and have professional development opportunities.

La Conversation Canada

De part sa source naturelle particulière et son procédé de fabrication singulier, le sirop d’érable comprend des molécules bioactives dont les bénéfices dépassent largement le simple agrément de la gâterie sucrée. (Shutterstock)

Percer les secrets du sirop d’érable, une molécule à la fois

Sébastien Cardinal, Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR); Amy McMackin, Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR)

Le sirop d’érable, en plus d’être un joyau du patrimoine culinaire canadien, est également un agent sucrant présentant une constitution chimique complexe.

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