Kevin Payne and Brandon Doucet: As we head towards a federal election, we’ll hear – as we do every 4 years or so – politicians pay lip service about access to dental care. To some of us, it may seem baffling that the bones in our mouths don’t receive the same consideration as the rest of our bones. Canadians take pride in our public health care system, so naturally we should also care about the health of our mouths.

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” (Martin Luther King).

Brandon Doucet on the need for universal access to dental care. Communities where people work low wage jobs and racialized communities are more likely to struggle accessing dental care. With the current economic recession, many working class people who used to access dental care will no longer be able to. When the pain gets too much to handle, people will be forced to use their credit card to pay for it.

The Income Assistance policy manual is brutally clear about when you qualify for dental care when you’re on welfare. Don’t bother looking for help if it doesn’t bleed, hurt, or stop you from getting a job. Preventative care isn’t even mentioned in the manual.