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Free Dental Care for Canadian Children

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Delivering dental care for children now

Nobody should choose between taking care of their kids’ teeth and putting food on the table.

Amid economic uncertainty worldwide, Canadians are feeling the rising cost of living.

To help families pay the bills, the Government of Canada is putting more money back in the pockets of people who need it most when they need it most.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today launched applications for the interim Canada Dental Benefit for children under 12 who do not have access to private dental insurance.

Eligible families can apply to start today.

The Canada Dental Benefit will provide eligible parents and guardians with direct, tax-free payments of up to $650 per child, per year – to a maximum of $1,300 per child over the next two years – to help cover out-of-pocket dental care expenses for their children under 12.

The Benefit is available to parents and guardians with an annual adjusted family net income under $90,000 who do not have access to private dental insurance. This Benefit is expected to help up to 500,000 Canadian children get the dental care they need and is the first step toward providing dental coverage for Canadian families who need it most.

Delivering dental care for children under 12 is a key part of the government’s plan to continue making life more affordable this year and building an economy that works for all Canadians. We also doubled the Goods and Services Tax Credit for six months, putting up to an additional $467 in the pockets of couples with two children for example, and we are delivering a top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit – a $500 tax-free payment – to an estimated 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing.

We will continue to be there for people, make life more affordable, and deliver results for the middle class and people working hard to join it.

For more information, please see the news release.


Quick Facts

  • A third of Canadians currently do not have dental insurance, and in 2018, more than one in five Canadians reported avoiding dental care because of the cost.
  • Eligible families can apply for the Canada Dental Benefit starting today through the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) My Account portal or, if they do not have internet access, by phone at 1-800-715-8836. To access the benefit, applicants must meet all of the following criteria:
    • They have a child or children under 12 as of December 1, 2022, and are currently receiving the Canada Child Benefit for that child;
    • They have an adjusted family net income of less than $90,000;
    • Their child does not have access to private dental insurance;
    • They have filed their 2021 tax return; and
    • They have had or will have out-of-pocket expenses for their child’s dental care services incurred between October 1, 2022, and June 30, 2023, for which the costs are not fully covered or reimbursed by another dental program provided by any order of the government.
  • Parents and guardians will need to keep the receipts for the dental care services their child received with the Benefit for six years in case the CRA contacts them to validate eligibility.
  • A national dental program is under development to expand dental coverage to under 18-year-olds, seniors, and persons living with a disability in 2023, with full implementation for all families with incomes under $90,000 by 2025.
  • Providing a Canada Dental Benefit to children under 12 is a key part of the Government of Canada’s plan to make life more affordable for Canadians now.
  • We are also providing a one-time top-up to the Canada Housing Benefit, delivering a $500 tax-free payment to an estimated 1.8 million Canadian renters who are struggling with the cost of housing. This doubles the government’s Budget 2022 commitment, reaching twice as many Canadians as initially promised. This new one-time federal benefit will be in addition to the Canada Housing Benefit, currently co-funded and delivered by provinces and territories. The top-up will be available to applicants with an adjusted net income of $35,000 or less for families or $20,000 or less for individuals who pay at least 30 percent of their income on rent.
  • In addition, we are already putting more money back into the pockets of Canadians this year by:
    • Doubling the Goods and Services Tax Credit for six months, delivering support to roughly 11 million individuals and families. Canadians started receiving their payment last month. Couples with two children receive up to an extra $467, and seniors an extra $225 on average.
    • Enhancing the Canada Workers Benefit to support workers this year, with a couple receiving up to $2,400 more this year and single workers receiving up to $1,200 more. Most recipients first received this additional support through their 2021 tax refund.
    • Cutting regulated childcare fees in half on average for families in Canada by the end of this year.
    • Increasing by 10 percent the Old Age Security (OAS) pension for seniors 75 years and older, starting in July 2022, providing more than $800 in new support to full pensioners over the first year and increasing benefits for more than three million seniors.
    • Providing more support for students by doubling the Canada Student Grant amount until July 2023 and by making Canada Student Loans and Canada Apprentice Loans permanently interest-free. An average student loan borrower will save $410 per year as a result of their loan being interest-free.



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