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Giving Kids Healthy Smiles

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Giving Kids Healthy Smiles

McGuinty Government Launches No Cost Dental Care For Eligible Children

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

A new no-cost dental program is now available in Ontario that will help ensure that eligible kids can establish and maintain good oral health.

Accessing dental care for children can be a challenge for some Ontario families, particularly for those families without dental benefit coverage. The new Healthy Smiles Ontario program will ensure that kids can have regular visits with a dentist or dental hygienist. This program is anticipated to benefit about 130,000 kids throughout the province.

Administered by public health units, the program will provide preventive dental care at no cost to kids who:

  • Are 17 years and under.
  • Are members of a household with an Adjusted Family Net Income of $20,000 per year or less
  • Don't have access to any form of dental coverage.

By making regular trips to a dentist or dental hygienist, kids will be able to prevent cavities and other dental problems that can contribute to diseases later in life. The program will give kids access to services like check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, scaling and more.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario program is part of the province's Poverty Reduction Strategy to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over five years, and supports the five-year Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario committed $45 million a year as part of the Ontario Poverty Reduction strategy to improve access to dental services for eligible children.
  • Oral health diseases are more prevalent among people with limited or no access to dental services, and children are the most vulnerable.

Additional Resources

Quotes

“Visiting a dentist early in life will help keep a kid's smile healthy for years to come. We know good oral health is an important component of good overall health. That's why I'm thrilled to be able to give eligible Ontario kids access to high-quality no-cost dental services.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“This program will not only benefit kids and promote their overall health, it will make it easier for low-income moms and dads who will no longer have to worry about choosing between paying a bill and getting a check-up for their kids.”

Laurel Broten

Minister of Children and Youth Services

“Research from around the world has shown that early intervention and access to preventive care are key to improving kids' oral health. Healthy Smiles Ontario is a good first step at addressing the oral health needs of this province's children. No child should have to suffer the often painful effects of dental decay, which is one of the leading causes of absences from school. The ODA will continue to work with government to ensure all kids get the care they need when they need it.”

Dr. Lynn Tomkins

President, Ontario Dental Association

“It is important that we give our children the best start in life - this program will ensure that children have access to preventive dental care when they need it most.”

Dr. Dick Ito

President of the Ontario Association of Public Health Dentistry

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