Healthy Smiles Ontario

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I find out if I am eligible?

Children 17 and under may be eligible if :

You will need to show specific documents during the enrollment process.

To find out more about the eligibility requirements for Healthy Smiles Ontario and what documentation you will need to show, call :

ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
or, call your local public health unit.

How many of my children are eligible?

As long as each child meets the eligibility requirements for the program, there is no limit to the number of children per family that can participate in the program.

Does this program cover infants?

Yes. This program covers children from birth until their 18th birthday.

Where will my child receive dental services?

Once your child's eligibility has been confirmed, your local public health unit will outline the range of dental service options available in your community. They will provide you with a client card that you may take to a private dentist or dental hygienist in your area who is participating in the program. Your child may also be able to receive services through a local public health unit or community dental clinic. Of the options available in your community, the choice of dental provider will be yours to make.

What if my family already has a dentist?

After your local public health unit has confirmed your child's eligibility for the program and if your dentist has chosen to participate in the program, then your child can continue to receive care from her/him.

What if my dentist isn't participating in the program?

If your dentist is not participating in the program then you have the option of finding a participating dentist in your community or of attending a public health unit or community dental clinic, if there is one available in your area. Your local public health unit can provide some guidance on the range of services available in your area.

Are braces or whitening covered?

Orthodontics and cosmetic dentistry, including braces and teeth whitening, are not covered under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Do I have to pay a portion of the costs?

Once eligibility is confirmed for the program, all of the costs associated with your child's basic oral health care needs will be covered by the program. There will be no cost to you.

I'm on Ontario Works. Am I eligible?

No. This program is only available to children 17 and under who do not have access to any form of dental coverage, including that from government-funded programs, like Ontario Works.

What documents do I need to bring to my Public Health Unit to show that my child is eligible for the program?

To qualify, you will need to show the following documents* during the application process :

*Note : if this documentation is not available, please contact your local public health unit.

How will I prove that my child has been accepted into the program?

Once your child qualifies for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program, your public health unit will issue a Healthy Smiles Ontario client card.

The client card is valid for up to one year, or up to the child’s 18th birthday -- whichever is earlier.

The client card must be presented to all dental providers at every appointment. Dental providers will not provide services unless a valid client card is presented.

How many visits is my child entitled to in a year and for how long?

On average, your child will be eligible for visits twice a year as part of basic dental care. Additional visits may be required for other purposes, depending on your child’s oral health status.

In terms of program duration, if all of the necessary documentation is provided to confirm eligibility, children are eligible for up to three years from the date of registration with the program or until the child's 18th birthday -- whichever is earlier. Your public health unit will inform you of your child's term of eligibility when you have been successfully enrolled in the program. You will not be required to re-apply for the program during this period of time.

However, please note that HSO client cards expire annually. Please see the Annual Eligibility Verification Declaration Form and contact your local public health unit to renew the card. A reminder to that effect is printed on the back of your child's HSO client card. As part of the annual renewal process, you will be required to confirm that your child continues to meet the eligibility requirements of the HSO program.

Are pediatric dentists available?

The availability of pediatric dentists will vary by region.

My husband has tooth pain and we don’t have insurance, is he eligible?

No. Healthy Smiles Ontario is a program for children 17 and under. To find our more about other dental services that may be available to your family please see :

What is a public health unit?

A public health unit is a team of health professionals providing health promotion and disease prevention programs, often in partnership with other agencies. Programs include important topics such as healthy life-styles, communicable disease control including education in STDs/AIDS, immunization, food premises inspection, healthy growth and development including parenting education, health education for all age groups and selected screening services.

There are 36 public health units in Ontario.

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For More Information

To find out more about Healthy Smiles Ontario and to see if you qualify, call:

ServiceOntario, Infoline at 1-866-532-3161
TTY 1-800-387-5559
In Toronto, TTY 416-327-4282
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
or, call your local public health unit.

If you are not eligible for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program, other dental services may be available to you or your family :