Canadian Oral Health Survey (COHS)

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Have you been invited to participate in this survey via email or mail? To log in to the survey, complete the following steps.

Step 1: Visit the electronic questionnaire portal and select Start my survey.

Step 2: Enter your secure access code (you will find this code in the invitation letter or email you previously received from Statistics Canada).

Step 3: Complete the survey.

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The Canadian Oral Health Survey (COHS) collects important data from Canadians on their oral health, including their ability to pay, challenges finding oral health services, experiences with the oral health care system, and care needs. The COHS also collects information on Canadians’ knowledge of publicly funded oral health programs, access to dental care expenses and insurance coverage.

The information collected by this survey will provide a better understanding on the state of oral health care in Canada and may be used to inform policies and monitor changes in the oral health of Canadians over time.

Your information may also be used by Statistics Canada for other statistical and research purposes.

Collection periods:
From November 2023 to March 2024
Collection methods:
Electronic questionnaire and telephone interview
Survey participation:
  • Block Information Confidentiality

    Authority and Confidentiality

    Data are collected under the authority of the Statistics Act, Revised Statutes of Canada, 1985, Chapter S-19. Your information will be kept strictly confidential.

  • Block Information on record linkage

    Data-sharing agreements and record linkage

    To avoid duplication of surveys, Statistics Canada may enter into agreements to share the data from this survey, including name and address with provincial and territorial ministries of health. For Quebec residents, Statistics Canada may also enter into an agreement with the Institut de la statistique du Québec to share the same information.

    To enhance the data from this survey and to reduce the response burden, Statistics Canada will combine the information you provide with information from the Census of Population, the Longitudinal Immigration Database, and tax data from the Canada Revenue Agency.

  • Block Information on Topics covered in the survey

    Topics covered in the survey

    The survey asks questions about:

    • awareness of the newly formed Canadian Dental Care Plan
    • oral health status
    • oral health care
    • oral health risk factors and related conditions
    • health of your mouth and general health status
    • oral health insurance (e.g., public or private insurance coverage of dental care expenses).
  • Block Information on Published data

    Published data

    Statistics Canada publishes the results of its surveys in many formats. To find all the documents related to this survey, follow the links below and type the name of the survey in the search engine located at the left of your screen to filter the results.

    Data: You will find tables, profiles of a community or region, thematic maps, public use microdata files, and data visualization tools.

    Analysis: You will have direct access to Stats in brief (e.g., releases from The Daily, fact sheets), articles and reports, and journals and periodicals.

  • Block Information on Survey-specific questions

    Survey-specific questions

    What is the Canadian Oral Health Survey?

    The Canadian Oral Health Survey is an annual survey that gathers information from Canadians on their oral health, including their ability to pay, challenges finding oral services, experiences with the oral health care system and care needs. Additionally, the survey collects information on Canadians’ knowledge of publicly funded oral health programs, access to dental care, expenses and insurance coverage to better understand the state of oral health. Results from this survey may be used to inform policies and monitor changes in the oral health of Canadians over time.

    The survey is administered through an electronic (online) questionnaire and computer-assisted telephone interviews.

    What are the objectives of the survey?

    Developed in partnership with Health Canada, this annual survey aims to collect data about the oral health of Canadians. More specifically this survey will

    • determine Canadians’ awareness of and intent to participate in the new Canadian Dental Care Plan 
    • estimate the numbers of individuals in Canada with selected oral health conditions, past use of dental care services and current dental care insurance coverage
    • estimate the distribution of determinants and oral health risk factors
    • enable the disaggregation of oral health indicators by sociodemographic group.

    Why should I participate in the survey?

    By participating in this survey, respondents play an important role in

    • creating a complete and comprehensive picture of Canadians’ oral health
    • filling data gaps to support the evaluation and improvement of the Canadian Dental Care Plan (CDCP)
    • understanding how oral health indicators, dental insurance coverage and the deployment of dental care services support the health of Canadians.

    Even if you do not experience any issues with your teeth or mouth and think that questions about the health of your mouth and care needs may not be applicable to you, your participation is still important because it will provide useful information about oral health care and insight into the overall health of Canadians. 

    Questionnaire results will be used to respond to the information needs of the CDCP, to better understand awareness of and intentions to enrol in the CDCP, as well as measure the success of the plan.

    Why are you asking questions about members of my household?

    Questions about members of your household, including questions on age, gender and education, for instance, are asked to enable Statistics Canada to produce high-quality population-level estimates that are representative of Canadian adults, households and children living in the 10 Canadian provinces.

    Do I have to take part in this survey?

    Your participation in this survey is voluntary. However, participation is encouraged. Each person selected for the Canadian Oral Health Survey (COHS) represents many other people in their community, so your participation would allow the COHS to obtain the most accurate and reliable results possible. 

    Oral health is an important part of everyone’s life. For the results to be representative, it is crucial that we have data from a wide range of Canadians, including those in good and poor health. Your participation will help to ensure that survey results are complete and representative of the entire population. 

    The data we collect from you and other participants will provide policy makers and provincial health departments, researchers and health professionals with a comprehensive source of information to help them address the oral health needs of all Canadians now and in the future.

    Can I choose not to answer certain questions?

    Yes. Even after having agreed to participate in the survey, you may choose to end your participation or not answer specific questions you find sensitive or where you feel uncomfortable providing a response.

    Where can I find out more about the survey?

    For more information on the Canadian Oral Health Survey, please visit Canadian Oral Health Survey (COHS). For additional questions, call 1-833-977-8287 or 1-866-753-7083 (TTY). You can also email us at

    What is data linkage?

    To enhance the data from this survey and reduce the burden on respondents, Statistics Canada will combine your responses with information from the Census of Population, the Longitudinal Immigration Database and the Canada Revenue Agency. Statistics Canada may also complement the information you provide with information from other surveys or administrative data sources.

    This is known as data linkage and is done only for statistical purposes and to improve oral health research. Findings from projects based on linkage could be used by governments in oral health promotion and to monitor, evaluate and change policies related to oral health care and the use of dental care services. We will not provide your information to provincial and territorial health departments, and any linkages would be conducted by Statistics Canada staff, with access limited to a need-to-know basis.

    Will Statistics Canada share my data?

    If you provided your consent, Statistics Canada will share your data with your provincial ministry of health if these data are formally requested and a data sharing agreement is in place. The information shared will be used for statistical and research purposes only.

    Do I need to seek consent from all members of my household?

    Yes, if you are answering on behalf of other members of your household, please consult them prior to agreeing to share the information collected in this survey.

    If you are unable to consult them, or unable to reach a collective agreement, please answer “No”.

    How will the data be used?

    Objective statistical information is vital to researchers, analysts and decision makers across Canada. Results of this survey could be used by

    • Parliament and other policy makers, to track major initiatives, set priorities for prevention and research programs, and evaluate policy and program outcomes
    • epidemiologists, biomedical and health service researchers, to understand trends in oral health diseases and the relationship of observed risk factors to diseases
    • public health professionals, to track preventable illnesses and evaluate the impact of prevention and intervention programs
    • advocacy groups, to raise awareness and assist in their surveillance of oral health and systemic diseases associated with oral health infection and oral health disparities.

    Will the information provided remain confidential?

    This survey is conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which ensures that the information you provide will be kept confidential. We do not release any information that could identify you or any member of your household unless you gave your consent or as permitted by the act.

    It is a priority for Statistics Canada to protect information provided by survey participants, because it is a fundamental part of the trust established between the agency and the participants.

    How will Statistics Canada safeguard the confidentiality of my information?

    The Statistics Act ensures that any information you provide to us remains strictly confidential. Statistics Canada goes to extraordinary lengths to protect you. No unauthorized people outside Statistics Canada will ever be permitted to see your individual responses.

  • Block Information on Other information

  • For more information about this survey

Supplementary information

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