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 aged 17 years or under. Eligible children are usually from low-income households, their parents may or may not have dental insurance and they may be in need of dental treatment. Your child may be found eligible for the program through an oral health screening, offered in Halton Region’s elementary schools or through one of our oral health clinics. Contact Halton Region to find out when we will be at your child’s school.
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?
Children and youth 17 years old and under 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 Healthy Smiles Ontario (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 Adult (OWA) and Dental Care Counts (DCC) programs provide financial assistance to those who qualify to access dental care, which is intended for urgent dental needs and is not an on-going regular dental care program or an insurance plan.
- Emergency care for conditions involving pain, infection, or trauma
- Non-emergency dental services will only be covered under special circumstances
Once financial eligibility is determined for any of our programs, an appointment for a free dental assessment at one of Halton Region’s clinics may be required and can be scheduled at this time.
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.