Dental Screening in Schools

Dental Screening in Schools

The Dental Health team at the Grey Bruce Health Unit provides annual dental screenings in selected grades in all publicly funded elementary schools and private schools throughout Grey and Bruce counties. Dental screenings are performed in accordance with the Ontario Public Health Standards under the Health Protection and Promotion Act. A dental screening in the school is only a visual assessment and does not replace a regular visit with a Dentist.


What is a Dental Screening?

A Public Health Registered Dental Hygienist will conduct a brief visual assessment of your child’s mouth following up to date infection control guidelines and using the appropriate personal protective equipment. A dental report card is sent home with every child who is screened to provide parents with feedback on their oral health.  If an urgent issue is identified, parents will receive an envelope with paperwork with further instructions.


Why are dental screenings done in the schools?

The information collected at each school helps to focus additional public health efforts on areas where children are at greater risk of dental decay. It provides the opportunity to offer a free dental screening for children who normally would not be able to be seen by a dental professional for a variety of reasons. Even if your child visits a dentist regularly, the screening can be helpful to identify dental issues that may have arisen between regular dental check ups.


How will I know if my child will be screened?

If your child is in one of the selected grades, a letter will be sent home approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the scheduled dental screening to notify parents of the upcoming screening date. If you do not wish for your child to be screened, the letter contains instructions on how to decline the screening.

If you believe your child has an urgent dental condition, you do not have to wait for a school screening. Please contact the oral health team at the health unit to schedule a dental screening in one of our clinics.  


What if I received forms for my child?

Your child was sent home with a Parent Notification Form (PNF) because the Registered Dental Hygienist found an obvious, urgent condition in your child’s mouth. The Registered Dental Hygienist is mandated to follow up with families on all urgent dental conditions and assist parents in seeking and completing the required professional dental care. Please complete and return the PNF you have received for your child from the Health Unit. If you have any questions while completing the forms, please contact the Health Unit at 519-376-9420, and press 8 to speak to a member of the dental health team for assistance.

If you are able to pay for dental treatment:

  • Fill out sections 1, 2, 3A, and your dentist needs to fill out 3B

If you already have a Healthy Smiles Ontario card:

  • Fill out sections 1, 2, 4A, and your dentist needs to fill out 4B

If you are unable to pay and are wishing to use the Healthy Smiles Ontario program to cover the cost:

  • Fill out sections 1, 2, 5A, 5B, 5C

Once the forms are completed, it is required that you return them to the Grey Bruce Health Unit using the self addressed envelope provided, by fax, or in person.



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