Get dental care

How to receive government-funded dental care.

Regular dental care can be expensive for families. Ontario offers free programs for both regular and emergency dental care. Some of the programs include:

  • Healthy Smiles Ontario
  • Children In Need Of Treatment
  • School dental screenings

If you or your children do not have dental coverage, you may qualify for care through one of these programs.

Healthy Smiles Ontario

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a program for kids who do not have access to any form of dental coverage. If they qualify, your child(ren) will get regular dental services at no cost to you.

 

Who can join the program

If you think a child may qualify for Healthy Smiles Ontario, please contact your local public health unit. Your local public health unit will help you understand eligibility, the application process, and answer any questions.

Children may join this program if they:

  • are age 17 and under
  • are residents of Ontario
  • do not have access to any other dental coverage
  • come from a household with an income that is at or under the levels shown in the table below

Income eligibility requirements

Income level at which a family would qualify for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program
Number of dependent children in household Adjusted family net income
1 child $21,638 or lower
2 children $23,275 or lower
3 children $24,913 or lower
4 children $26,550 or lower
5 children $28,188 or lower
6 children $29,825 or lower
7 children $31,463 or lower
8 children $33,100 or lower
9 children $34,738 or lower

If there are more than nine children in a family, add $1,638 for each additional dependent child to determine the income level at which a family would qualify for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Dependents are children 17 and under listed on the Annual Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit Entitlement Notice or Annual Child Tax Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit Notice.

To find your household’s income (adjusted family net income), please see the area, labeled Family Net Income, on an applicant’s Annual Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit Entitlement Notice or Annual Canada Child Tax Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit Notice.

Please note: the information presented on Healthy Smiles Ontario eligibility may change without notice and may be updated at any time. You should regularly review this information on Healthy Smiles Ontario eligibility for any updates. Please contact your local public health unit for more information.

What the program covers

The program covers a full range of preventive and early treatment, including:

  • check-ups
  • cleaning
  • fillings
  • x-rays
  • scaling

How to enroll

  1. Download a program enrollment form.
  2. Gather the documents you will need to apply
    • your child's valid Ontario Health Card
    • your Annual Goods and Services Tax (GST) Credit Entitlement Notice or Annual Canada Child Tax Benefit and Ontario Child Benefit Notice (most recent tax year)
    • your Government-issued identification, such as a
      • valid Ontario Health Card
      • passport
      • certificate of Canadian Citizenship
      • Permanent Resident Card
      • Canadian Immigration Identification Card
      • valid Ontario Driver's License

    If you do not have these documents, contact your local public health unit.

  3. Contact your local public health unit. They will help you enroll your child(ren).

Once enrolled, your local public health unit will give you a client card to bring to appointments. Your child may be able to receive services through your local public health unit, a community dental clinic, a private dentist, or a dental hygienist. Of the options available in your community, the choice of dental providers will be yours to make.

If your child is already enrolled in the Healthy Smiles Ontario program, please note that client cards expire annually. Please see the Annual Eligibility Verification Declaration Form and contact your local public health unit to renew the card.  Your card must be presented at every appointment.

More information on dental services for children without coverage (available in 16 languages)

Children In Need Of Treatment (CINOT)

This program provides basic dental care and out-of-hospital anesthetic coverage for low-income children with urgent dental conditions.

Who can join the program

Children may qualify for this program if they:

  • are a resident of Ontario
  • are age 17 and under
  • have a dental condition requiring urgent care

What the program covers

The program covers basic treatment, including:

  • oral exams
  • x-rays
  • topical fluoride
  • cleanings
  • fillings
  • root canals
  • extractions
  • out-of-hospital anesthetic coverage

How to enroll

Contact your local public health unit. They will help you determine if your child qualifies and help you enroll your child(ren).

Find your local public health unit

Elementary school dental screenings

Ontario’s public health units provide free dental screening to students in elementary schools once a year. The screening is a quick (30-60 second) visual check that is done using a light and a mirror.

Parents will receive notice before the screening. You may opt out if you do not want your child(ren) to participate.

Other Public Health dental programs

All public health units in Ontario offer free preventative dental programs for elementary school children. These services are provided through public health clinics and private dental offices.

Most public health units offer additional preventative dental programs. Some programs target specific user groups, such as low-income seniors and First Nations children. Some programs even offer mobile dental clinics. Services vary from one region to another.

Contact your local public health unit to find out what services are available in your area.

Find your local public health unit

The following dental services may also be available to you or your family:

Updated: May 12, 2015