Ontario Residents Under 18 Can Continue To Benefit From Healthy Smiles Ontario Program
GUELPH, ONTARIO | 05.01.2017 – Poverty continues to be a issue within Ontario, and the city of Guelph is no exception. And within an already vulnerable population, there are children left without means or support when it comes to things many youth would take for granted.
With no end in sight, one of the most depressing things can be the lack of hope or support from the local community. That’s why provincially funded programs like Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO), a dental support program for youth in poverty, are so important to expanding cities. These programs continue to provide support and options for youth locked in a state of poverty.
Dr. Reymarie Yabut of Dr. Yabut Smile on Woolwich got involved with Healthy Smiles Ontario 6 years ago. She believes that the program stands apart from others in the province because of the prospect it presents. “It provides hope for youth who otherwise wouldn’t have any,” said Dr. Yabut.
“Healthy teeth and gums can make a world of difference for a young person. A healthy smile can mean confidence for a young person. Ultimately, down the road, this could mean the difference between getting a job; getting a partner; or even just living a life with a few extra smiles. That’s why we do this. For the youth of our community, and what it means for their futures.”
The office works with the HSO program to provide dental care for those who otherwise would never see the inside of a dental office, simply because it is outside of their means. And Dr. Yabut’s office is just one of the places someone approved for HSO can go. Some might find themselves working with another office or their local public health unit.
“The goal of the HSO program is to make sure that children receive the essential treatment they need and receive regular preventive care so they stay healthy during their childhood years,” said Dr. Robert Hawkins, a Dental Consultant to Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health. “Over the last two years, Public Health dental hygienists have identified 345 children with urgent dental needs that were placed on HSO.”
“We strongly believe that programs like HSO make a long lasting impact on the health of young people in our community,” said Dr. Yabut. “As the program continues to grow, we hope that it will take into account the needs of expanding communities like Guelph. The youth we see through this program are often unaware of the full scope of the coverage that is available to them. I believe it is important that we make the relevant information accessible and readily available.”
Those looking to get enrolled in the HSO program can learn more about the program and begin enrollment here.
Facts About Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO)
- The Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) program is aimed to assist children and youth (aged 0-17) from low income families to access dental care.
- HSO provides emergency treatment if needed, as well as basic dental care including fillings, cleanings, sealants and fluoride applications.
- You must be an Ontario resident and meet income eligibility requirements
- Children and youth 17 and under are automatically eligible and automatically enrolled in Healthy Smiles Ontario when they or their family receive: Ontario Works, Temporary Care Assistance, the Ontario Disability Support Program or Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities