Ontario’s Dentists Urge Provincial Government to do More for Low-Income Kids

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Child at the dentist

Today is the first day of the Ontario Dental Association’s awareness campaign to help Ontarians understand the dangerous funding gap in public dental care. Currently, dentists across the province treat about 200,000 kids under the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program but say more needs to be done to ensure all 500,000 eligible children and youth get the care they need.

The ODA is calling on the provincial government to step-up and do more for kids from low-income families and have posted the following release:

The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) has launched an awareness campaign to help Ontarians understand the dangerous funding gap in public dental care. Dentists across the province currently treat about 200,000 kids under the Healthy Smiles Ontario program but more needs to be done to ensure all 500,000 eligible children and youth get the care they need.

Dental pain is the second-most common reason kids miss school. Ontario’s dentists have been doing their part in helping kids from low-income families because no child should go to bed in pain.


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Ontario’s dentists have a long history of providing care to vulnerable members of their communities and even created dental programs for people on social assistance. Ever since the province took over the administration of dental care for at-risk groups, funding for these programs hasn’t changed to keep up with demand.

For more than a decade, the ODA has asked the Ontario Government to find real, long-term solutions that ensure children from low-income families get quality dental care in their communities. Ontario’s kids have an urgent need – now’s the time for the province to step up and address its chronic underfunding of the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

For more information, visit oda.ca/healthysmiles.

About the Ontario Dental Association (ODA)

The ODA has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, we represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province. The ODA is Ontario’s primary source of information on oral health and the dental profession. We advocate for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarians by working with health-care professionals, governments, the private sector and the public. For more information on this and other helpful dental care tips, visit www.youroralhealth.ca.


Release source: ODA
Photo: PXhere (cc)