Do you struggle to pay your family's dental bills? No dental benefits through your employer? Financial assistance is available if you meet the required criteria. Halton residents meeting the criteria for financial aid may require an assessment by a registered dental hygienist before referral to a dentist. This service is free of charge.
Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)
This government funded program provides free preventative, routine and emergency dental services for eligible children and youth under 18 years of age. Eligible children are usually from low-income households and their parents may or may not have dental insurance. Oral health screenings in schools is also available for children in kindergarten to grade 2.
The HSO program coverage includes:
- urgent or emergency dental care
Please note: Cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and braces are not covered by the HSO program.
Who is eligible for HSO coverage?
Youth under the age of 18 are eligible if they live in Ontario and their family meets the income eligibility requirements (external link). Even if you have dental insurance, your child may still qualify for HSO.
Your child or youth is automatically enrolled in the HSO program when they or their family receives:
- Ontario Works (OW)
- Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)
- Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD)
How do I apply?
Call Halton Region at 311, visit Ontario’s Healthy Smiles (external link), or in person at any Service Ontario (external link) location. Once enrolled in the HSO program, your child's coverage lasts for up to one “benefit year” (August 1 – July 31) or until your child turns 18.
Have the following information ready when you call:
- Your child's date of birth
- A valid Ontario address
- Your income level or Ontario Child Benefit information
- Your Social Insurance Number or Temporary Taxation Number (if you do not have either of these, obtain a Guarantor (external link))
Low income adults and seniors
The Ontario Works Adults (OWA) and Dental Care Counts (DCC) programs provide dental care for low income and older adults already registered in the Ontario Works program. Services include:
- Emergency care for conditions involving pain, infection, or trauma
- Denture care to restore chewing ability and/or speech
- Non-emergency dental services will only be covered under special circumstances
The OW Adults dental program is not an insurance policy and will not cover on-going regular dental care. Free oral assessments are available to children and adults at a Halton Oral Health Clinic, by appointment only.
Oral health education resources
The Ontario Dental Association (external link) provides educational materials for viewing and downloading. If you have specific questions or concerns about your oral health, contact your local dentist.
Help finding a dental provider
Our Oral Health Team can help you find a local dentist, dental hygienist, or denturist. Contact Halton Region by dialing 311 today.