Dental Health

In addition to oral health screening in schools and at community sites, Region of Waterloo Public Health provides access to dental treatment.

Early Childhood Tooth Decay Fact Sheet

Dental Care for Your Baby and Toddler - Video

dental care youtube video











Financial assistance for dental care available in Waterloo Region

For details regarding this, check the Financial Assistance for Dental Services Available in Waterloo Region guide.

Healthy Smiles Ontario

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a free dental program for eligible children and youth 17 and under from low-income families.Healthy Smiles Ontario logo

As of January 1, 2016, programs included within Healthy Smiles Ontario are:

  • Dental benefits for children under Ontario Works
  • Dental benefits for children under the Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Dental benefits for children under the Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities Program
  • The Children In Need Of Treatment Program
  • Healthy Smiles Ontario
  • Preventive oral health services provided by local public health units

Who is eligible?

Children and youth 17 and under may be eligible if:

  • They are residents of Ontario;
  • They are members of a household that meets the income eligibility requirements
Note: Children 17 and under are automatically eligible and automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario when they or their family receive: Ontario works, Temporary Care Assistance, Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities or the Ontario Disability Support Program. Children and youth with other dental insurance coverage are no longer automatically excluded.

How do I enroll?

  • Go to
  • Call Service Ontario INFOline toll-free at 1-844-296-6306 (TTY toll-free at 1-800-387-5559)
  • Call Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services at 519-575-4400 (TTY 519-575-4608)  

Once enrollment has been confirmed you will receive a Healthy Smiles Ontario dental card. The dental card must be presented to your dental care provider at each visit to receive dental care under the program.

Where can my child access dental care including emergency dental care?

If you have a dentist, contact their office to find out if they participate in Healthy Smiles Ontario. If you do not have a dentist, contact Region of Waterloo Public Health and Emergency Services at 519-575-4400 (TTY 519-575-4608).

What services are covered?

Healthy Smiles Ontario covers regular visits to a licensed dental provider, such as a dentist or dental hygienist. It covers dental services including check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, and scaling. Urgent or emergency oral health issues are also covered by Healthy Smiles Ontario.

Why is oral health important?

Cavities and gum disease can be painful and can lead to serious infections, affecting the growth of adult teeth. Pain can result in loss of sleep, affect a child's ability to eat and can impact a child's ability to learn and attend school. Good oral health is important for your child's self-esteem, sense of well-being and their overall health.


Dental treatment for OW / ODSP recipients

This program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Community and Social Services and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo and is administered by Public Health.

Dependent children (17 years old and under) whose parents are Ontario Works participants will be eligible for basic care under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Ontario Works / Ontario Disability Support Program dependents (18 years and older) are eligible for emergency care.

Any adult receiving Ontario Works has emergency dental coverage only. Please speak to your case worker regarding your dental emergency. A dental card or authorization from your case worker will allow treatment to be provided by a dentist of your choice.

To learn more, check the Ontario Works Dental Benefits fact sheet.

Dental resource kits

The Dental Resource Kits are available in two age-appropriate levels:

  • Kindergarten and Grade 1
  • Grade 2 and Grade 3

They are filled with teaching resources, educational materials, handouts and overheads.

These kits relate to the Healthy Living strand of the Ontario Curriculum, Health and Physical Education and provide lots of interesting ways to learn about oral health.

They can be ordered online through the Resource Centre or by calling 519-575-4400 ext.2256,

Nutrition for dental health 

Proper nutrition is important for dental health.

Open new window to view

Go to Nutri-eSTEP Eating Habits Survey

For information about NutriSTEPĀ® and Nutri-eSTEP (nutrition questionnaires) for toddlers and preschoolers, click here.

*NutriSTEPĀ® name and logo are Registered trademarks of Sudbury & District Health Unit.

Information links

Fluoride in Drinking Water

Canadian Dental Association (CDA)

Dental Clinics

Find a Doctor or a Dentist