Dental Care for Youth

Oral health is an important part of your health, self-esteem and sense of well-being.

If you are 17 or younger and can’t afford to pay for dental care, we have programs that can help. To learn more about our dental programs please call our Dental Line at 1-800-265-7293 ext. 2661. We can:

  • Answer any questions or concerns you have about dental and oral health
  • Help you find out if you qualify for free dental care
  • Help you enroll in our dental programs

Programs and services

Public Health offers FREE dental care to children and youth who cannot afford dental care through the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program. Healthy Smiles Ontario is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services to eligible children and youth 17 and younger from low-income families.

Preventive Dental Care 

Our dental hygienists check your mouth for oral health concerns, clean your teeth, apply fluoride and sealants, and teach you how to brush and floss. We can provide information about brushing, healthy eating and other ways to keep your mouth healthy. We will also help you find out if you qualify for any other free dental programs. You can book an appointment at one of our preventive clinics if:

  • You are 17 or under AND
  • You cannot afford dental care

Regular and Emergency Dental Care

If you are eligible for the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program and you have a family dentist, Public Health can assist you with completing an application if required.

You may be eligible for regular dental care through HSO if you:

  • Are 17 or under
  • Live in Ontario
  • Have a household income that meets the program criteria

You are automatically enrolled in HSO if:

  • You receive assistance under:
    • Temporary Care Assistance
    • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities
  • You or your family receive:
    • Ontario Works
    • Ontario Disability Support

You may be eligible for dental care at Public Health if you have an urgent dental need and cannot afford treatment. If you have a dental emergency, call Public Health for help.

Do you have this card? Call Public Health or your family dental professional to book an appointment.

Healthy Smiles Ontario card

School services *Temporarily on hold

Dental screenings

Our registered dental hygienists visit elementary schools and provide a quick check of students’ teeth. They let parents/guardians know if they see any problems, such as large cavities, in the child’s mouth. These screenings do not replace an exam by a dentist.

Fluoride varnish

We provide free fluoride varnish applications at select schools. Fluoride varnish is a protective coating that helps to make teeth strong and prevent cavities.

If you attend one of our fluoride varnish schools, you can print off a Fluoride Varnish Consent form (PDF, 4 pages, 124 KB). Return the completed and signed consent form to the school so you can take part in this free program.