Dentistry in Public Health

Picture of a group of children smiling at the camera

Public health plays an important role in supporting the health of your community.

Ontario has 36 Public Health Units (PHU) varying in size, which serve different geographic areas.  Each one has programs and services that support the community where people live, work, grow, and play. Click here to find the Public Health Unit closest to you.

Each Public Health Unit has a public health dental team working towards helping children get the dental treatment they need!  Registered dental hygienists visit publicly-funded schools and check the health of teeth and mouths of children in some grades. These dental screenings are mandated by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

If you have questions about the school screening checks contact your local PHU. Click here to find your closest Public Health Unit.

Financial assistance for dental care is available for eligible Ontario children and youth 17 or younger. Find more information about the Healthy Smiles Ontario dental program here.

Many PHU also have in-house dental clinics offering many free dental services for children and youth. Some PHUs also offer services for adults and seniors, but not all. Public Health dental staff understand the challenges that families face and are always happy to answer questions or help in other ways.

Sometimes it is hard to find a dental office in your area. Please contact your closest Public Health Unit to ask about dental help in your area.