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Free Dental Services Are Available for Eligible Children and Youth

Good oral health plays an important role in a child’s overall health and wellness. But what should you do if you can’t afford the dental care your child needs? Your family may qualify for the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program.

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a government-funded program that provides free preventive, routine and emergency dental services to qualifying children and youth aged 17 or under. The program includes regular visits to a licensed dental provider, and covers the cost of check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, tooth extraction and more. It also covers the cost of urgent and emergency dental care.

Poor oral health can have long-term consequences for kids. Besides causing painful cavities and gum disease that can lead to serious infections, it can affect the growth of adult teeth as well as a child’s self-esteem and their ability to eat, sleep, learn and attend school. That’s why it’s important for children to see a dentist for the first time at 12 months and keep going regularly afterward to maintain good oral health. The HSO program can help with this.

Children and youth are eligible for the HSO program if they’re aged 17 or under, live in Ontario, and come from a household that meets the program’s income eligibility requirements. Parents can enroll their children and youth in the program online at ontario.ca/healthysmiles, or by mail.

For more information about Healthy Smiles Ontario or to find out if your children qualify, call the Eastern Ontario Health Unit at 613-933-1375 or at 1 800 267-7120 and ask for Health Line. You can also click here for more information.

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