Giving More Kids Access to Free Dental Care
Ontario Expands Healthy Smiles Program
Thousands more children across Ontario now have access to free dental care.
As of April 1, 70,000 more kids from low-income families can get dental services including regular cleanings, diagnostics and treatment through the newly expanded Healthy Smiles Ontario program.
As a result, over 460,000 children are now eligible for dental treatment through the province's low-income dental programs. Starting August 2015, six publicly funded dental programs will be integrated into one program to provide seamless enrolment and make it easier for eligible children and youth to receive the dental care they need.
Providing more children and youth with access to free dental care supports Ontario's Action Plan for Health Care by delivering the right care, at the right time and in the right place. This is also part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow by focusing on Ontario's greatest strengths - its people and strategic partnerships.
- Expanding dental care to low-income children and youth is part of Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy.
- One out of five Ontarians cite cost as a barrier to visiting a dentist.
- Other recent initiatives that will help Ontario’s kids grow up healthier, include:
- Introducing legislation that, if passed, will post calorie information on menus of large chain restaurants;
- Creating more than 200 new breakfast and morning meal programs over two years to serve 33,000 additional children and youth in high-needs communities;
- Banning the use of tanning beds for youth under the age of 18; and
- Helping children eat better and get more active through the province-wide Healthy Kids Community Challenge.
“Today is an important milestone in our plan to make dental care available to more kids in need. We’re expanding Healthy Smiles Ontario because we know good oral health is an important component of overall health and will help our kids grow into healthy adults.”
“Tooth decay can have a tremendous impact on a child’s health and their sense of well-being. It is also entirely preventable. Today’s announcement will give more children access to the dental care they need for a healthy future.”