Non-emergency dental services under the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program are gradually restarting.

Dental care providers are continuing to monitor COVID-19 to stop the spread in their communities and to carefully and gradually restart services under the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) Program. In person dental visits may still be limited in this time for the safety of dental care providers and HSO patients.

You can continue to apply for the HSO program during this period.

If your child or youth is enrolled in the HSO program, please contact a HSO-participating dental provider or your local public health unit by phone for assistance with your dental needs and more information on the gradual restart of services in your area.

Read the latest information on COVID-19.

How it works

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households.

The program includes regular visits to a licensed dental provider and covers the costs of treatment including:

  • check-ups
  • cleaning
  • fillings (for a cavity)
  • x-rays
  • scaling
  • tooth extraction
  • urgent or emergency dental care (including treatment of a child’s toothache or tooth pain)

Cosmetic dentistry, including teeth whitening and braces, are not covered by the program.

Who is automatically enrolled

Children are automatically enrolled in the program if:

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

Ontario Works recipients living in a First Nations community

Your children are not automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario if you receive Ontario Works and live in a First Nations community.

Please apply by mail to enrol your children.

Who is eligible to apply

You can apply for your children if they:

  • are 17 years of age and under
  • live in Ontario
  • come from a household with an income equal to or less than the levels in the table below

Income eligibility requirements

As of July 1, 2021

Number of dependent children in your household Family net income
1 child $24,347 or lower
2 children $26,189 or lower
3 children $28,032 or lower
4 children $29,874 or lower
5 children $31,717 or lower
6 children $33,559 or lower
7 children $35,402 or lower
8 children $37,244 or lower
9 children $39,087 or lower
10 or more children $40,929 or lower. Add $1,843 for each additional dependent child to determine the income level at which your family would qualify for Healthy Smiles Ontario.

Coverage period

Once your child is enrolled, they are covered:

  • up to one benefit year (August 1st of the current year to July 31st of the following year), or
  • up to their 18th birthday. If your child turns 18 during the benefit year, they’re no longer eligible.

If your child is in the program for emergency or essential care, they are covered for 12 months from the date of enrolment. Clients receiving emergency or essential care must re-enrol after 12 months.

How to enrol

You can enrol in the program online or by mail.

Once your child’s enrolment is confirmed, you will get a Healthy Smiles Ontario dental card in the mail. You must present your card to your dental provider at each visit to receive services under the program.

Before you start

Before you begin the online application, you need:

  • your child(ren)’s date(s) of birth
  • a valid Ontario address
  • your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Taxation Number (TTN)
  • to have filed your taxes in the previous year

Apply online

To apply online, complete the online application:

  • If you have a spouse or common-law partner, they must be with you to complete the online application.
  • Enter your electronic signature(s) at the end of the application. 
  • Provide your email address. If you have a spouse or common-law partner, their email address must be different from your email address.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program contacts applicants/clients by phone or mail, and does not send invoices to applicants/clients. If you apply online or contact the program through Ontario.ca, you may receive an email from Healthy Smiles Ontario. If you have not applied online or contacted us recently, please do not open attachments or click on links in the email. Contact us using the above information to determine if the message is authentic.

Apply by mail

To apply by mail:

  • download, print and complete the application form
  • mail the completed form to:
    Healthy Smiles Ontario
    33 King Street West
    PO Box 645
    Oshawa, Ontario
    L1H 8X1

You can also get an application form from your local public health unit or at a ServiceOntario location.

To apply if you receive Ontario Works and you live in a First Nations community:

Did not file a tax return / don’t have a SIN

If you don’t have a Social Insurance Number or didn’t file your taxes last year, you can still apply by mail but you’ll need a Guarantor (one per household).

A Guarantor must be a Canadian Citizen, at least 18 years of age who can confirm the:

  • identity
  • age
  • and Ontario residency of the person applying and (if applicable) their spouse/common law partner

Your Guarantor must be a practicing member, in good standing with a provincial regulatory body, serving as a:

  • chiropractor
  • midwife
  • nurse
  • optometrist
  • pharmacist
  • physician or surgeon
  • psychologist
  • veterinarian
  • lawyer
  • professional accountant
  • professional engineer
  • social worker or social service worker
  • teacher/vice-principal/principal in a primary or secondary school
  • dietitian
  • dentist or dental hygienist
  • judge, Justice of the Peace, municipal/provincial/First Nations police officer/constable, officer/constable of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)
  • mayor
  • member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario
  • minister of religion authorized under provincial law to perform marriages
  • municipal clerk or treasurer who is a member of the Association of Municipal Managers or Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario
  • notary public
  • professor in a university, a senior administrator in a community college
  • signing officer of a bank

Mail your application form to:

Healthy Smiles Ontario
33 King Street West
PO Box 645
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 8X1

Change your account information

Generally, you need to complete and submit a Change of Information form for a child that is already enrolled in the program.

Mail your completed form to:

Healthy Smiles Ontario
33 King Street West
PO Box 645
Oshawa, Ontario
L1H 8X1

Ontario Works recipients

You don’t need to fill out a Change of Information form. Speak instead, to your case worker to change your information.

Emergency and essential services

If your child is receiving emergency or essential services, you don’t need a Change of Information form, just call the program administrator (Accerta) to change your information at:

Find a participating dentist

If you have a dentist, contact their office to find out if they participate in Healthy Smiles Ontario. If you don’t have a dentist, your local public health unit can help you find one.

Emergency dental care

To qualify for emergency/essential dental care, you must:

  • have a clinical need
  • be able to show financial hardship. You will be asked some questions about how you or your family would be affected if you had to pay for dental treatment. For example, would you be able to pay household bills if you had to pay for dental treatment?

To apply for emergency care, contact your dentist’s office or your local public health unit to find out if they participate in Healthy Smiles Ontario. If you don’t have a dentist, contact your local public health unit for help.

Children receiving emergency and/or essential care are covered for 12 months from their date of enrollment. They must re-apply at the end of 12 months to determine if they’re still eligible.

Children with dental insurance

Even if your child already has dental insurance coverage, they may still be eligible for the program. You can apply in the same way that other families apply. You may be asked for your insurance information when you go to your dental provider for treatment.

Elementary school screenings

Children in kindergarten and Grade 2 at public elementary schools can get free routine dental screening.

Local public health units will visit these schools throughout the year to do the screening. Each school schedules its own time and date for the visit.

Why we screen these kids

Children in kindergarten may not have seen a dental care provider before. This screening ensures all kids get that first visit.

Children in Grade 2 have their first permanent molar (back) teeth. This screening can help identify and prevent decay.

If emergency care is needed

A screening can also help identify if your child needs emergency treatment. In these cases, a letter will be sent home with your child.

You can apply to Healthy Smiles Ontario to see if your child is eligible to receive this care for free.

Notifying parents

You’ll be notified at least two weeks before your local public health unit visits your child’s school. The school and public health unit choose how to notify parents. You may hear by:

  • letter sent home with your child
  • email
  • announcement on the school’s website

Opting out

You can opt out of the screening, if you don’t want your child/children to participate

In your notification, you’ll find instructions for opting out by:

  • letter (address given in notification)
  • phone (contact name and number given in notification)

Make sure to opt out as soon as you get the notification.

Questions and resources

If you have any questions, need to update your account information or replace your dental card(s), please contact the ServiceOntario INFOline:

Your local public health unit can also help you apply or find a dental provider. Please contact them for information on preventive, emergency or essential services.

Updated: October 21, 2021
Published: May 13, 2014