Good oral health is important to overall health. The Health Unit`s Dental Services are for children and youth from birth to age 17.
In Elementary Schools
During the school year, Registered Dental Hygienists visit children in selected grades to complete dental screenings. The Hygienists look into the mouth to check for signs of dental disease and problems that need treatment by a dentist. If an urgent dental need is identified or if the child is eligible for preventive services, parents are contacted by the Health Unit.
At the Health Unit Office in Pembroke
Registered Dental Hygienists are available every second Friday at Dental Screening Clinics. To book an appointment for children from birth to age 17, call Dental Services at 613-735-8661 or 1-800-867-1097 extension 661.
At Parent Child Drop-Ins
Children age 6 and younger can get dental screening at Parent Child Drop-ins. To book an appointment at a Parent Child Drop-in in your area, call Dental Services at 613-735-8661 or 1-800-867-1097 extension 661.
Healthy Smiles Ontario Dental Treatment Program
Healthy Smiles Ontario is a free dental program for children and youth age 17 and under living in families with incomes below a set amount. Healthy Smiles Ontario covers regular check-ups, preventive care, and treatment by licensed dental providers.
Who is automatically enrolled
Children and youth are automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario when they or their family receive:
- Ontario Works
- Temporary Care Assistance
- Ontario Disability Support Program
- Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities
Details and dental cards are automatically mailed to clients when they receive these programs.
Note: Your children are not automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario if you receive Ontario Works and live in a First Nations community. Please apply by mail to enrol your children.
Who is eligible to apply
You can apply for your children if they:
- are 17 years of age and under
- live in Ontario
- come from a household with an income equal to or less than the levels in the table below
Income Eligibility Requirements (as of July 1, 2019)
Number of Dependent Children in Your Household Family Net Income
1 Child $23,680 or lower
2 Children $25,472 or lower
3 Children $27,265 or lower
4 Children $29,057 or lower
5 Children $30,850 or lower
6 Children $32,642 or lower
7 Children $34,435 or lower
8 Children $36,227 or lower
9 Children $38,020 or lower
10 or more Children $39,812 or lower. Add $1,793 for each additional dependent child to determine the income level at which your family would qualify for Healthy Smiles Ontario.
Children and youth with other dental insurance coverage are no longer excluded from Healthy Smiles Ontario coverage.
Healthy Smiles Ontario is also for children and youth who need emergency dental care. Applicants must be assessed for an emergency or essential dental need and must also show financial hardship. Contact Dental Services for more information.
There are three different ways you can apply to Healthy Smiles Ontario:
- apply online or
- fill in, print and mail an application form or
- pick up an application form at the Renfrew County and District Health Unit or a Service Ontario office
For more information call Renfrew County and District Dental Services at 613-735-8661 or 1-800-267-1097 extension 661 OR the Service Ontario INFOline at 1-844-296-6306.
Regular eye examinations by an optometrist are essential for detecting eye problems and preserving good vision health. It is important to start early, since young children do not know what normal vision is. If not identified early, some eye problems can permanently reduce a child’s vision.
In Elementary Schools
During the school year, health unit staff visit children in senior kindergarten to complete vision screenings. Three tests are used to identify potential issues that need further assessment by an optometrist and a referral will be sent home to parents recommending a comprehensive eye examination.
The Canadian Association of Optometrists recommends the following:
- Infants and toddlers should have their first eye examination between the ages of 6 and 9 months.
- Preschool children should have at least one eye examination between the ages of 2 and 5 years.
- School children aged 6 to 19 years should have an eye examination annually.
- Adults aged 20 to 39 years should have an eye examination every 2 to 3 years.
- Adults aged 40 to 64 years should have an eye examination every 2 years.
- Adults aged 65 years or older should have an eye examination annually.
A valid Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) card covers the cost of an annual eye examination for children and youth aged 0 to 19 years.
Ontario Association of Optometrists
To find an optometrist, call the Ontario Association of Optometrists at 1-800-540-3837 or visit their website for a list of doctors in your area.
Assistance with Cost
Eye See Eye Learn®
The Eye See… Eye Learn® program encourages parents to book a comprehensive eye exam for their junior kindergarten child with a local, participating optometrist. The cost of the exam is covered by OHIP. If a child needs glasses, they will receive a complimentary pair donated by Nikon Lenswear, OGI and the participating optometrist. The estimated value of the glasses is over $250.
Visit the program website for age eligibility requirements and a list of participating optometrists.
Ontario Works and Ontario Disability Support Program
Families receiving financial assistance from Ontario Works or the Ontario Disability Support Program can contact their caseworker for information on assistance with the cost of prescription eyeglasses.
Low Income Families
Help with the cost of prescription eyeglasses may be available for low-income families. Call the Community and Social Services Department at 3-1-1 for more information.
Services for Children who are Blind or Have Low Vision
Ontario’s Blind – Low Vision Early Intervention Program is designed to give children who are born blind or with low vision the best possible start in life. Specialized family-centred services are funded by the province and are available for children from birth to Grade 1.
The program offers three types of services:
- Family support
- Intervention services
- Consultation services
Visit the program website for more information.
For more information call Renfrew County and District Health Unit Vision Services at 613-735-8661 or 1-800-267-1097 extension 661.