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Dental Health

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Poor oral health is a public health issue. Untreated tooth decay (cavities) and other dental conditions can lead to pain and infection, which may result in problems with eating, speaking, and learning. Unfortunately, access to oral health care is not as easy as it may seem. Dental care can be costly, it is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and many do not have dental insurance coverage. The SMDHU endeavors to support oral health in our communities through prevention, promotion, and treatment.


  • Provide school and health unit-based dental screening for children and youth from birth to aged 17 years. Screening can identify those at high risk for dental disease and offer enrollment in the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program.
  • Provide dental care (professional cleanings, fluoride applications, sealants, fillings, etc.) for eligible children and youth through the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program.
  • Provide dental care (professional cleanings, fluoride applications, fillings, dentures, etc.) for eligible seniors through the Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program.
  • Provide specific dental care services based on eligibility for adults on publicly funded programs (OW, ODSP, NSAP, NIHB, IFHP)
  • Promote good oral health by supporting families and through various outreach and educational activities.
  • Support community water fluoridation as a safe and effective public health measure that benefits all members of the community. 

What Matters to Your Health

At every age, good oral health is an important part of maintaining general health. Prevention is key, as tooth decay and gum disease are preventable. It is important to start and establish good oral health habits and practices early. Here are some helpful tips towards better oral health:

  • Brush at least twice a day with a fluoridated toothpaste and floss daily
  • Eat a healthy diet and limit sticky, sugary and salty snacks.
  • Drink water instead of sweetened beverages like pop, juice, and sports drinks.
  • Children should see a dental professional within six months of getting their first tooth, or by their first birthday.
  • Adults and children should seek regular check-ups and preventive care with a dental professional.

For more information:

Call Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  or access additional resources here.

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