Ever wondered about our country when it comes to dental care and where we might rank against other nations in the world? Recently, a conversation about our national health care program sparked a larger debate about who had the “best teeth” in the world so our intrepid team of Dentists and Hygienists immediately took to Google for the answers. We’re not sure if they will surprise you or not but here are some interesting facts about oral health care around the world!
First, perhaps we should clarify that there is in fact an agency and a method of measurement devoted to determining which countries offer both excellence in health care and whose citizens take care of their pearly whites! Countries are ranked on a DMFT* index and then other agencies, such as data collected by the World Health Organization, is also taken into consideration. Here’s how countries, including Canada, rank:
- Denmark comes in first place with a DMFT score of .4 indicating a general population who love their teeth! It means that each person, on average, has “less than half a tooth that needs attention or had problems.”
- In second place was Germany at a .5 ranking on the index, perhaps in part due to their excellent dental health care options.
- Finland, Sweden and then the United Kingdom round out the top 5, that last country perhaps might be surprising for some of us who might still believe that old stereotype about British people often having poor oral health.
- Still wondering about Canada? Well they did not rank 6th either. That honour goes to Switzerland, a country known to offer both excellent health care and advanced dental programs.
- Coming in at number 7, finally, we have Canada. Our score is considered excellent on the DMFT scale, coming in at 1.0 and ranking ahead of the US. Well done, Canada! The team at Brinkley Dental likes to think perhaps in some small way, here in Brampton, Ontario at least, we’ve contributed to Canada’s overall good ranking.
- Mexico follows in 8th place and the US ranks in 9th place overall. Completing the top ten, coming in at a score of 1.2 for the tenth position is France. Their score was actually the same as the United States but when factoring in healthcare budgets devoted to oral health care, their ranking slipped.
Now, for a bit more context it’s important you understand the DMFT* system. Essentially, it’s a system that has been in place for about 80 years and is supported by the OCED, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. With a focus on primary teeth, it is meant to help support and advocate for good oral health care programs by comparing countries and how well they promote (and fund) oral health care. The D is for Decayed, M for Missing, and FT for Filled Teeth. The index score “expresses the number of teeth out of 20 that fall into one of these three categories.” Overall, while there is room for improvement, it’s important to note that Canada’s ranking within the top ten means we’re doing a good job when it comes to both promoting and supporting great oral health care for our population.
As with any study, we know that of course there are a great many other factors that influence the health of a population including important factors like food and nutrition, a good education system that works to promote healthy eating, and good oral health care, and a number of economic factors too. With that said, Brinkley Dental is proud to know that Canada ranks within the top ten nations of the world and you should be too! It means as parents and caregivers, you are doing a lot of the “heavy-lifting” when it comes to educating your little ones about the importance of good oral health care. So congratulations to you! If you’d like to see whether your own teeth fall into a personal “top ten” category of what’s important to you for maintaining your health and wellness, schedule an appointment with the Brampton-based Brinkley Dental team. We’re family-friendly with a wide variety of appointment times to work within your busy schedule. Consider giving us a call today and in the meantime, we’ll leave you as we always do with this friendly reminder, “Don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and brush that smile!”