6.5.3 Percentage of children and youth aged 6 to 14 years who have contacted a dental professional in the last 3 years, by Indigenous identity, Canada, 2012

First Nations Métis Inuit
Indigenous Identity 95.8 95.2 84.1

Note: Excludes persons living on Indian reserves or settlements.

Source: CICH graphic created with data adapted from Statistics Canada. Table 577-0003 – Aboriginal Peoples Survey, access to and use of health care services, by Aboriginal identity, age group and sex, population aged 6 years and over, Canada, provinces and territories, occasional.

The majority of Indigenous children and youth aged 6 to 14 years had contacted a dental professional in the last 3 years in 2012.

That was the case for 96% of First Nations children and youth, 95% of Métis children and youth and 84% of Inuit children and youth.

Geography can limit access to comprehensive and timely dental care for Indigenous children and youth. According to a First Nations Oral Health Survey, a higher proportion of children who lived in urban, rural, or non-remote communities usually saw a dental professional more than once a year for check-ups or treatment. Children who lived in remote communities saw dental professionals less often. The cost of dental care may also reduce the likelihood of dental visitation. The survey found that avoiding or delaying care due to costs is considered a barrier to seeking care, whereas foregoing treatment due to cost represents a barrier to the receipt of any recommended treatment. The survey also found that for children who had not visited a dental professional in the last year, the reason given by a majority of parents/primary caregivers was because they had “no access to dental care”, while a sizeable minority reported they had “no need for care”.

Source: The First Nations Information Governance Centre. (2012). Report on the findings of the First Nations Oral Health Survey (FNOHS) 2009-10 -accessed November 23, 2018.