Free Dental Programs

Free Dental Programs

Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households. The program includes regular visits to a licensed dental provider and covers the costs of treatment including:

  • check-ups
  • cleaning
  • fillings (for a cavity)
  • x-rays
  • scaling
  • tooth extraction
  • urgent or emergency dental care (including treatment of a child’s toothache or tooth pain)

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

The program is divided into three streams:


  • Families can enroll in the core stream by picking up an application form from any Service Ontario office or at the Grey Bruce Health Unit (101 17th Street East, Owen Sound Ontario).  Eligibility is based on income and number of dependent children in your household. Applications can also be done online at Healthy Smiles Ontario
  • If you qualify for the core stream, children will be automatically enrolled into the HSO program each year, provided families file their taxes and remain under the eligible income threshold. A wallet card for each child is mailed to the family.  This card must be taken each time they visit a dental office.


Emergency and Essential Needs:

  • Under the HSO program, if families can’t qualify based on their income but their child/ren are in need of emergency care there is coverage available as well.  To access this part of the HSO program contact Public Health at (519)376-9420 and press 8. Families may also find they can access this part of the program through their dental office or through the annual school screening program.  Again, a wallet card will be issued for your child. If you have this card, your child is already enrolled into the Healthy Smiles Ontario program.

Healthy Smiles Ontario Card


Free Cleanings:

  • Preventive services are also offered under the HSO program to low-income families at one of our four preventive clinic locations. Families will need to call the Health Unit to see if they qualify and to make an appointment.


Note - families who have access to some dental insurance but are still unable to pay for dental work may also apply for additional coverage through the HSO program.  For help with any of the above HSO options please contact us at (519)376-9420 and press #8 for dental or visit the Public Health website.


Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program (OSDCP)

The Ontario Seniors Dental Care program is a new program aimed to help low income seniors’ access dental care. To qualify, you must:

  • Be 65 years of age and older
  • Be a Resident of Ontario
  • Have an income of $22,200 or less for single senior; combined income of $37,100 or less for a couple- (Line 236 from your income tax form)
  • No other forms of dental benefits (e.g. private insurance or other government program)

The Ministry of Health will be responsible for all eligibility and enrolment into the program.  To get your application, please visit the Grey Bruce Health Unit (101 17th Street East, Owen Sound Ontario), or the South East Grey Community Health Centre in Markdale (55 Victoria Ave, Markdale Ontario), or, for a more convenient way to access the forms, please go to: Seniors Dental

Please note that treatment for this program is only offered at our Owen Sound clinic.

For more information on this program, please go to: Seniors Dental or call the Health Unit at 519-376-9420, and press 8 for dental.

Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program


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