Oral health is important for overall health but many Perth County adults have a hard time getting dental care. Just over half of residents have insurance for dental expenses – a lower proportion than Ontario as a whole. People without any form of coverage must pay out-of-pocket for dental care. This can create a big financial burden and prevent people from going to a dental professional.

The Health Unit has been collecting stories from Perth County adults about the challenges they face with getting dental care, and how this affects their lives. We hope to increase understanding of these challenges in the community. Below are the stories we’ve received.

Would you like to share your story? 

You must be at least 18 years old and live in Perth County.

You can submit your story online. You can also share your story by phone or in person. Call 519-271-7600 or toll-free 1-877-271-7348 extension 245.

Anonymous' Story
"We are not poor enough to be helped by social services, and we are not wealthy enough to cover the dentist bills up front."
Anonymous' Story Two
“I'm in constant pain and my self-esteem is shot.”
Candice's Story
"I struggle with social anxiety, and knowing that my teeth are not in their best condition makes that an even more prominent struggle in my life."
Carolyn's Story
"I'm still using the original 'temporary' dentures after more than 10 years - they're not meant to last that long."
Fred's Story
"My sister and brother-in-law were generous enough to cover the $5000 cost of getting an upper and lower bridge for the affected teeth, otherwise I'd be walking around with a toothless smile or more likely... no smile at all."
James' Story
"I have to put (dental costs) on a personal line of credit because we just don't have that kind of money."
Jay's Story
"I can't afford dental care while on Ontario Works because it will literally take food from my son's mouth."
Joanna's Story
"My teeth are rotten so they all have to come out."
John's Story
"Both my wife and I need repairs to our teeth, but we can't afford the thousands of dollars it would cost to have the work done."
Joyce's Story
"I once lost out on a new job... that was very hurtful."
Laurie's Story
"I don't smile normally anymore."
Linda's Story
"People think you don't care about your teeth and don't look after them.
Paul's Story
"I carry around Anbesol all the time now!"
Sarah's Story
"I feel overwhelmed knowing that I cannot afford to keep my teeth as healthy as they could be."
Shona's Story
"(When) I had no front teeth, people thought I was mad at them or didn't want to talk to them."
Stephen's Story
"I work full-time but I don't have any dental benefits."
Sue's Story
"Having dental problems is probably the most degrading thing I have ever been through."