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New Canada Dental Benefit 2023: How To Get Free Dental Care

The Canada Dental Benefit (CDB) is Canada’s first iteration of a national free dental care program.

The CDB will offset the cost of dental services for eligible families by providing them with a tax-free payment of up to $650 per child under 12 for two years.

Like many other Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) programs, the Canada Dental Benefit is aimed at alleviating the affordability challenges being forced by low to moderate-income families.

Read on to learn about how the CDB works, who is eligible, payment dates, and how to apply.

Who is Eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit?

You may be eligible for the Canada Dental Benefit if your adjusted family net income is less than $90,000 and you filed a tax return in 2021.

You can only claim benefits for children under the age of 12 who do not have access to a private dental insurance plan and are a recipient of the Canada Child Benefit (CCB).

Lastly, you can claim the Canada Dental Benefit for dental service costs incurred during these two benefit payment periods:

  • October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023
  • July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024

Dental services can be provided by a dentist, denturist, or dental hygienist.

You are ineligible for the Canada Dental Benefit if you have access to an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan or any form of private dental insurance plan.

The family income used for determining eligibility is based on your earnings during the 2021 tax year.

How Much is the Canada Dental Benefit? In 2023

How much CDB  you receive is based on your family income and the number of children.

If you share custody of your children with a spouse, the benefit is split 50:50 and will reflect each parent’s income.

The maximum CDB per eligible child is $650 for each benefit period or a maximum of $1,300 overall.

This table summarizes the Canada Dental Benefit payment for each benefit period based on your family’s net income:

Adjusted Family IncomeFull Custody Amount Per ChildShared Custody Amount Per Child
$0 to $69,999$650$325
$70,000 to $79,999$390$195
$80,000 to $89,999$260$130
$90,000 and overIneligibleIneligible

For example, if your family’s net income in 2021 was $65,000 and you have 2 children under 12, you could receive up to a total of $2,600 in CDB benefits in 2023 and 2024 combined.

You can estimate your benefit amount using this CRA tool.

How to Apply for the Canada Dental Benefit in 2023

You can apply for the 2022-2023 benefit period starting on December 1, 2022. The last day to apply is on June 30, 2023.

Applications for the CDB can be submitted online using the CRA My Account Service. Alternatively, you can apply by phone by calling 1-800-715-8836.

You will need to provide your social insurance number, full name, date of birth, address, and notice of assessment or re-assessment for 2021.

If you apply using CRA MyAccount, your tax documents are already provided there.

Book a dental appointment for your child before applying, as you will need to submit details about the dental clinic and the appointment date.

Canada Dental Benefit Payment Dates

There are no specific payment dates for the Canada Dental Benefit.

You can apply for up to two payments per child.

The first payment occurs between December 2022 and June 2023, while the second payment is for care received between July 2023 and June 2024.

Payments are processed within 5-10 business days using direct deposit or a mailed cheque.

Additional Dental Benefits

Some children may qualify for extra benefits to cover dental costs exceeding $650 in one of the benefit periods.

This applies if they do not apply for both benefit periods.

For example, if your child did not receive a payment in the first benefit period that runs from October 1, 2022, to June 30, 2023, they may qualify for twice the payment in the second benefit period (July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024), if eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions

What dental costs does the Canada Dental Benefit cover?

The CDB covers dental services provided by a dentist, dental hygienist, or denturist.

Does the Canada Dental Benefit cover adults or seniors?

No, the Canada Dental Benefit only covers dental costs incurred by children under age 12.

What is the federal dental plan in Canada?

The federal dental plan is called the Canada Dental Benefit, an interim dental care program introduced in 2022.


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Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu is a personal finance expert and a veterinarian. He has a master’s degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School (Scotland) and has completed several courses and certificates in finance, including the Canadian Securities Course. He also has an MSc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of Manitoba and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Ibadan. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and has been writing about money matters for over a decade. He has been featured or quoted in Forbes, The Globe and Mail, Winnipeg Free Press, Wealthsimple, CBC News, Financial Post, Toronto Star, CTV News, Canadian Securities Exchange, Credit Canada, National Post, and many other personal finance publications. You can learn more about him on the About Page.

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