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Giving Haldimand and Norfolk kids healthy smiles

Government Launches No Cost Dental Care for Eligible Children

SIMCOE, OCTOBER 1, 2010 – A new no-cost dental program is now available in Haldimand and Norfolk, which will help ensure that eligible kids can establish and maintain good oral health.

Accessing dental care for children can be a challenge for some Ontario families, particularly for those families without dental benefit coverage. The new Healthy Smiles Ontario program will ensure that kids can have regular visits with a dentist or dental hygienist. This program is anticipated to benefit about 130,000 kids throughout the province.

Administered by the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit, the program will provide preventive dental care at no cost to kids who:

  • Are 17 years and under.
  • Are members of a household with an Adjusted Family Net Income of $20,000 per year or less
  • Don’t have access to any form of dental coverage.

“It is important that we give our children the best start in life,” said Norfolk Mayor Dennis Travale, who also serves as the chair of the local Board of Health. “This program will ensure that children have access to preventive dental care when they need it most.”

By making regular trips to a dentist or dental hygienist, kids will be able to prevent cavities and other dental problems that can contribute to diseases later in life. The program will give kids access to services like check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, scaling and more.

“Visiting a dentist early in life will help keep a kid’s smile healthy for years to come,” noted Deb Matthews, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care in a news release. “We know good oral health is an important component of good overall health, which is why I’m thrilled to be able to give eligible Ontario kids access to quality no-cost dental services.”

The Healthy Smiles Ontario program is part of the province’s Poverty Reduction Strategy to reduce the number of children living in poverty by 25 per cent over five years, and supports the five-year Open Ontario Plan to provide more access to health care services.

Local citizens can find out more information about the program, and how to determine if they are eligible or not, by visiting www.ontario.ca/healthysmilesontario or calling the ServiceOntario INFOline toll-free at 1-866-532-3161. Details on the program are also available on the Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit’s website, www.hnhu.org.

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Media contact:
Kim Casier
Dental Hygienist
Clinical Services Team
Haldimand-Norfolk Health Unit
Ext. 3249 at either 519-426-6170 or 905-318-6623
kim.casier@hnhu.org