Oral health supports keep Halton residents smiling

Halton Region is committed to supporting the health and well-being of all residents by connecting them to the services they need. Good oral health is integral to one’s overall health and Halton offers residents an excellent selection of oral health supports.

This April, we recognize both National Oral Health Month and National Dental Hygienists Week by highlighting some of the activities carried out through the Health Department’s Oral Health Program. To help residents of all ages and stages, Halton Region:

  • delivers free oral health screenings to elementary students in Halton to identify any issues requiring urgent attention. In 2014-15, our team of registered dental hygienists visited 118 schools, assessing over 16,500 Halton students;
  • developed the Oral Health Education Guide in partnership with local school boards. This easy-to-use online teacher’s toolkit integrates oral health education into Ontario’s elementary school curriculum;
  • promoted oral health in six high schools through the use of informative displays and provided free oral health screenings to 81 students;
  • administers Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO), a free program for children and youth 17 and under who don’t have any form of dental coverage. In 2015, HSO helped 1030 children and youth in Halton;
  • runs community based clinics where low-income adults are screened to assess their eligibility for dental treatment through Halton’s Dental Care Counts fund or the Ontario Works Adults program;
  • provides financial assistance for dental treatment through the Dental Care Counts fund to residents without dental insurance and who have difficulty paying for treatment, including adults under 64 with special needs and seniors 65 and older. In 2015, 487 Halton residents received treatment through this fund and Halton is one of the few health units in Ontario to offer this assistance; and
  • provides a wealth of online oral health information and resources at halton.ca/oralhealth, and through our HaltonParents blogs.

For more information on these and other oral health programs in Halton, please dial 311 or visit halton.ca/oralhealth.

Our dedicated staff continues to work with our community partners to help support good oral health for everyone and to ensure that Halton Region remains a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhaltonLinkedIn or Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report”.