Toronto Public Health provides free dental care for eligible clients at convenient locations across the city. Please contact one of our dental clinics for more information.

Caring for your teeth and oral health is important for life:

Referrals

To make a referral for someone who might benefit from Toronto Public Health’s dental services and meets the eligibility criteria, please contact one of our dental clinics.

Toronto Public Health provides free non-emergency and emergency dental care for eligible children and youth (0-17 years).

School Dental Screening

Toronto Public Health provides annual dental screenings in local public and separate schools for children from Junior Kindergarten through to Grade 8. Parents are notified in advance of the screenings and are able to opt out if they do not want their child to be screened.

High school dental screenings can be arranged by teachers or school administrators. Please call 416-338-7600 to book a high school screening and visit our section for teachers below for oral health education materials.

The school screening programs do not replace a dental examination that is done at a dentist’s office. The screening can provide an early sign of possible problems that should be looked at more closely.

Oral Health Workshops for High school Students and Youth

Toronto Public Health offers workshops for high school students and community youth groups. Schools and community agencies that provide programs and services to youth can call 416-338-7600 to book a workshop.

Parents who are enrolled in select Toronto Public Health perinatal or parenting programs may be referred by their public health nurse, dietician or home visitor to a Toronto Public Health dental clinic for dental services. A referral form must be completed by the program staff.

If you are not eligible for this free service, you may qualify for dental care at a reduced cost at another facility.

Community Oral Health Outreach Program

Toronto Public Health also provides oral health workshops for parents and caregivers of young children through community groups. The workshops have information on oral health, disease prevention and other health concerns specific to adults and for parents and caregivers of young children. Call 416-338-7600 for more information.

If you are 65 or older, you can get free dental care at a Toronto Public Health dental clinic if you are eligible.

Dental Screenings in Seniors’ Facilities

Toronto Public Health provides the following services to nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes and collective living centres:

  • Screening of residents for potential dental issues
  • Workshops for caregivers and/or independent seniors on the importance of good oral health, disease prevention and other dental health concerns specific to seniors
  • Professional cleaning and identification of dentures (denture labelling) for residents in the facility
  • Demonstrations on brushing techniques for residents and/or their caregivers

These screenings are organized by the facility, and not all facilities offer this program.

These on-site dental screenings are conducted by dental hygienists, not dentists. The screening can provide an early sign of possible problems that should be looked at more closely. As a follow-up, a Toronto Public Health dentist will visit the facility to assess any residents who have been identified with dental problems. Minor denture adjustments such as tightening or loosening of clasps and relieving denture sores are also done at this time, if required.

How do I organize dental screening in a seniors facility?

If you work at a seniors’ facility and want to arrange for a dental screening, please call 416-338-7600.

Fluoride is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment. Fluoride is found in soil, air and water.

At appropriate levels, Fluoride in drinking water has been proven to significantly reduce cavities and dental decay. This finding is strongly supported by an extensive body of Canadian and international research, and has been commonly accepted in the scientific community for almost 70 years.

Scientific guidance on optimal fluoridation levels is routinely reviewed by expert panels convened by Health Canada and conveyed to all provinces and territories.

The most recent Health Canada review, undertaken in 2007, assessed the latest available evidence on the benefits and potential risks. This review concluded that there is no harmful health risk from the fluoridation of community drinking water at current levels and that fluoridation continues to be an effective public health strategy to prevent dental disease.

The City of Toronto’s policies and practices in drinking water fluoridation are guided by these expert reviews and recommendations. Toronto Public Health and Toronto Water are committed to ensuring the safety of the Toronto drinking water supply, and protecting the health of Toronto residents.

The dental benefits and safety of fluoridation of drinking water are strongly supported by many health organizations, including the Ontario Medical Association, the Canadian Dental Association, the Ontario Dental Association, the American Dental Association, the Public Health Dentists Association, the Chief Dentist of Canada and the International Association for Dental Research.

Fluoride has been added to the Toronto drinking water supply since 1963. Studies of Toronto children 12 years after the introduction of water fluoridation and again in 2000 show that by 2000, there was a 77.4 per cent mean reduction in decayed, missing and filled baby teeth for five year-old children. There was also a 390 per cent increase in the percentage of children with no tooth decay when compared to rates reported prior to the addition of fluoride in 1963.

This dramatic improvement in dental health is due to a combination of water fluoridation, other sources of fluoride (such as toothpaste), better nutrition and better dental preventive care. Water fluoridation plays an important role in a comprehensive approach to good dental health.

The current target level of fluoride in Toronto drinking water is 0.6 parts per million – a level which is less than the naturally occurring fluoride levels from a number of European and North American water sources, including parts of Ontario.

Fluoride levels in Toronto’s drinking water are regulated in Ontario under the Safe Drinking Water Act administered by the Ministry of the Environment.

Toronto Public Health will continue to monitor expert reviews and recommendations on water fluoridation from provincial, federal and international health research organizations to ensure Toronto residents continue to have appropriate levels of fluoride in drinking water.

For more information about Toronto’s clean, safe drinking water including questions about fluoride, visit Tap Water in Toronto.

Toronto Public Health provides annual dental screenings in local public and separate schools for children from Junior Kindergarten through to Grade 8. Parents are notified in advance of the screenings and are able to opt out if they do not want their child to be screened.

The dental screening process is as follows:

  • The school informs parents and students of the dates
  • A dental hygienist does a visual inspection of the gums, teeth and mouth
  • The hygienist can answer any questions the student might have, provide guidance on oral hygiene and may encourage the student to get a follow-up visit with a dentist

How do I organize a dental screening program for my high school students?

If you are a teacher or school administrator in a high school, call 416-338-7600 to book a free school dental screening for your students.

How do I organize a workshop for youth?

TPH offers workshops for youth in high schools and to community youth groups. The focus is on good oral health, disease prevention and other concerns specific to youth. Teachers and community agencies can call 416-338-7600 for more details about this service.

Curriculum Resources for Teachers

Patient Claims

Please send claims for Healthy Smiles Ontario Dental Program to

Accerta
P.O. Box 2286
Toronto, ON M5S 3J8

Dental Fee Guides and Schedules

Schedule of Services (HSO)

General Information on Healthy Smiles Ontario

HSO

How do I Refer Clients for Dental Care?

If you work for a community agency and you have a client who needs dental care, contact one of our dental clinics. Our staff will help you determine if your client is eligible for free care, or care at a reduced cost in another facility.

Workshops for Community Agencies and Groups

Toronto Public Health offers community workshops on oral health. The focus is on good oral health, disease prevention and other concerns specific to children, youth or seniors. If you work in a community service agency or are a member of a community group, and you would like to book a workshop, call 416-338-7600

Oral health education and screenings are also available for seniors in long-term care facilities, nursing homes and collective living centres.

Your Teeth Are For Life (TPH YouTube Video, October 2015)