The New Democrats are on a tour of Southwestern Ontario to tout the party’s universal dental care plan.

One of the stops Wednesday took NDP leader Andrea Horwath to Chatham, where she stopped at Bright Smiles Community Dental Hygiene.

Horwath spoke to owner and dentist hygienist Christine Fairbairn, who herself is offering community days, where people can come into the clinic and get a free cleaning.

“What Christine is doing is wonderful – but it’s shameful that it has come to this in Ontario,” said Horwath. “No one should have to rely on charity for basic medical needs like dental cleanings. The NDP's Dental Care for Everyone plan will mean no one will ever have to put off having their child's cavity filled because money is tight."

Horwath’s party is proposing a plan that would publicly fund dental coverage for millions of Ontarians, including residents on social assistance and seniors who do not have retirement benefits. It would also create a minimum standard for dental plans that will apply to all working Ontarians.

“I've spoken to a number of small businesses in the last week or so who have said they are excited about it because they have tried to make it work themselves and get benefits for their workers and have not been able to find a solution,” said Horwath.

Horwath said the difference between her plan and the Liberals plan is the NDP policy would cover everyone and be introduced in 2020.

The NDP leader added she is also the only leader who has tabled a universal pharmacare plan, which would provide drug coverage for every Ontarian regardless of age income or job status.

The NDP candidate for Chatham-Kent-Leamington, Jordan McGrail, was also with Horwath on Wednesday.

"Chatham families don’t want cuts,” said McGrail. “We want a government who will offer us hope that things can be better.”

McGrail is running against PC incumbent Rick Nicholls in Chatham-Kent-Leamington.