Healthy Smiles Ontario

Healthy Smiles Ontario

OTTAWA, ONTARIO, CANADA, NEWS RELEASE

January 11, 2011

Healthy Smiles for 10,000 Ottawa kids

Ottawa – Ottawa Public Health (OPH) announced today the local delivery of Healthy Smiles Ontario, a provincially-funded program providing no-charge dental care to children from low income families. The introduction of the program means that thousands of Ottawa families who could not afford basic preventative dental care for their kids can now afford to go to the dentist.

The announcement was made at the public dental clinic located at Le Patro Community Centre.

“Healthy Smiles Ontario is a provincial initiative ensuring that vulnerable children have access to preventive dental care when they need it most. Visiting a dentist early in life will help keep a kid’s smile healthy for years to come,” said Minister Madeleine Meilleur, Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs and MPP for Ottawa-Vanier. ”We know good oral health is an important component of good overall health. That’s why I’m thrilled that we are providing access to high-quality no-cost dental services to eligible Ontario children.”

Healthy Smiles is available for young Ottawa residents who are age 17 and under, do not have access to dental insurance and who are part of a family with a net adjusted family income of under $20,000.

Healthy Smiles Ontario will provide $2 million to Ottawa Public Health to run the program locally this year. Eligible families have to apply for the program in person at any of the six Ottawa Client Service Centres across the city. The forms can also be downloaded online from ottawa.ca/health.

“Up to 10,000 children in Ottawa are eligible for the dental care provided through Healthy Smiles Ontario,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “These young residents live in neighbourhoods throughout our city and, without the support of this program, would not have access to basic dental care.”

“The local dental community supports the Healthy Smiles Ontario program and we look forward to working with Ottawa Public Health and the community partners to assist children in need,” said Dr. John Cox, President of the Ottawa Dental Society.

“I am proud that Ottawa Public Health, in collaboration with our community partners, will directly assist children and their families,” said Dr. Isra Levy, Ottawa’s Medical Officer of Health.

Services covered by the program include check ups, cleanings, x-rays, fillings and scaling. They can be performed at any of Ottawa’s three dental clinics at 40 Cobourg Street, 2525 St. Laurent Boulevard and 1580 Merivale Road, unit 400. Services will also be provided by participating private dentists and dental clinics.

For more information on Healthy Smiles Ontario go to ottawa.ca/health, or call the OPH information line at 613-580-6744.

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