The Ontario Dental Association (ODA) is asking the province to invest in public dental programs.
Taking action now to properly fund existing programs, like Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO), could save the province millions of dollars a year in unnecessary hospital and doctor visits.
Dentists across the province currently treat about 260,000 kids under HSO but more should be done to ensure all 540,000 eligible children and youth get regular treatment.
That will mean fewer kids in pain and less expense to the health-care system in the long run.
ODA president Dr. David Stevenson said this is personal for him.
“I've been treating kids in the HSO and similar programs for decades, and I know what a positive difference it makes for the children to get care just like everyone else,” he noted.
“And also for their parents, who are relieved to know their son or daughter is getting the preventive dental treatment they need to stay healthy and well,” Stevenson added.
The ODA has been waiting for more than a decade for long-term funding solutions to fix public dental care programs.
Now is the right time for the new Ontario government to take meaningful action so children from low-income families get quality dental care in their communities.
For more information, visit oda.ca/healthysmiles
The ODA has been the voluntary professional association for dentists in Ontario since 1867. Today, we represent more than 9,000, or nine in 10, dentists across the province.
The ODA is Ontario's primary source of information on oral health and the dental profession. We advocate for accessible and sustainable optimal oral health for all Ontarians by working with health-care professionals, governments, the private sector and the public.