Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)

Free dental services for children and youth aged 17 and under

Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) is a government-funded financial assistance program that provides free preventive, routine and emergency dental services for eligible children and youth aged 17 years and under, from low-income households (with or without dental insurance coverage).

The HSO program coverage includes:

  • check-ups
  • cleaning
  • fillings
  • x-rays
  • scaling
  • urgent or emergency dental care

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

Frequently asked questions

  • Who is eligible for Healthy Smiles Ontario?
  • How do I apply for Healthy Smiles Ontario?
  • What if I don’t have a Social Insurance Number or did not file a tax return?
  • How do I apply for emergency dental care?
  • How do I apply for Preventive Services Only (HSO-PSO)?
  • What are elementary school screenings?
  • Do you need help finding a dental provider?
  • Who is eligible for Healthy Smiles Ontario?

    Children and youth aged 17 and under are eligible if they:

    Note: Even if you have dental insurance, you may still qualify for HSO.

    Children and youth aged 17 and under are automatically enrolled in HSO when they or their family receive:

    • Ontario Works (OW)
    • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or
    • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (ACSD).

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    How do I apply for Healthy Smiles Ontario?

    Call Halton Region by dialing 311, but before you do, have the following information ready:

    • Your child’s date of birth;
    • A valid Ontario address;
    • Your income level or Ontario Child Benefit information; and
    • Your Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Taxation Number (TTN)

    Once enrolled in the HSO program, your child will be covered for up to one “benefit year” (August 1 – July 31) or until the child’s 18th birthday.

    You may also apply by visiting Ontario’s Healthy Smiles website or in person at any Service Ontario location.

    What if I don’t have a Social Insurance Number or did not file a tax return?

    If you don’t have a Social Insurance Number (SIN) or Temporary Taxation Number (TTN), you will need to obtain a Guarantor. A Guarantor must be a Canadian Citizen, at least 18 years of age who can confirm the:

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

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    How do I apply for emergency dental care?

    Call Halton Region by dialing 311 and identify that your child has an urgent dental need. The Region’s Oral Health team will then help you with the application process.

    Have the following ready when you call:

    • Your child’s date of birth;
    • A valid Ontario address;
    • Your Ontario Child Benefit information (if receiving the benefit); and
    • Some knowledge of your income level

    You will be asked some questions to assess your financial situation. If enrolled, your child will be covered for 12 months or up to age 18.

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    How do I apply for Preventive Services Only (HSO-PSO)?

    Your child has received a letter resulting from an oral health assessment/dental screening at school that is identified as Healthy Smiles Ontario - Parent Notification - Preventive Services Only Stream (HSO-PSO), and you want to apply to the program. Contact Halton Region by dialing 311 and our Oral Health team will help you with the application process.

    Have the following ready when you call:

    • Your child’s date of birth;
    • A valid Ontario address; and
    • Some knowledge of your household income, which should meet the income eligibility requirements.

    Once enrolled, your child will be covered for up to 12 months or up to age 18.

    Under the HSO-PSO only the following services are covered:

    • professionally applied topical fluoride
    • pit and fissure sealants
    • scaling
    • interim stabilization therapy services

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    What are elementary school screenings?

    Ontario’s public health units provide free routine dental screening to students in elementary schools. This helps to identify children who may need emergency or essential care, or may benefit from preventive dental services.

    If you would like to have your child screened at school, please contact Halton Region by dialing 311.

    If during a routine dental screening at your child’s school, it is identified that your child needs dental care, one of two letters will be sent to your home:

    • Healthy Smiles Ontario Parent Notification Form (PNF) Instructions Emergency and Essential Services Stream (EESS). See copy of this form below.
    • Healthy Smiles Ontario Parent Notification - Preventive Services Only Stream (HSO-PSO).

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    Do you need help finding a dental provider?

    Contact Halton Region by dialing 311 and our Oral Health team can help you to find a local dentist, dental hygienist or denturist.

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