NDP Leader Andrea Howarth meets with Christine Fairbairn at Bright Smiles Community Dental Hygiene in Chatham, April 4, 2018.

Universal Dental Care is a big plank in the NDP campaign and provincial leader Andrea Horwath was in Chatham on Wednesday to highlight the plight of people left behind under the current plan.

Howarth visited the Bright Smiles Community Dental office in downtown Chatham to showcase the importance of proper dental coverage.

Chatham resident Justin Hayes says his kids are covered under the current program to a certain extent, but he isn’t.

“I have yet to have dental care at any job I’ve ever had. So it’s been very hard for me, not only for regular care for my teeth but for my own self esteem,” says Hayes.  “If I have bad teeth I don’t want to smile and  it makes me unpersonable when I talk to people and go for job interviews.”

Christine Fairbairn runs the Bright Smiles clinic, and says she sees the need every day.

“Every other month I do free dental cleanings for typically about 16 clients,” Fairbairn explains. “For my regular business days I see everybody from those that don’t have insurance to those that do but can’t afford the co-pay. I also see a lot of people on ODSP because they can’t find a treatment provider in town.”

Horvath joined by local candidates Todd Case and Jordan McGrail to discuss the NDP’s plan to provide dental care for all Ontarians.

“We see too many situations where people can’t get their fillings filled, where people are yankng their own teeth out because they haven’t been able to go to the dentist,” Horwath says. “It’s unacceptable.”