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Free 'friendly' dental visits for kids 3 and under

The visits are available by appointment at Huron Perth Public Health dental clinics

April is Oral Health Month in Canada. The Oral Health Team at Huron Perth Public Health (HPPH) is using the month to highlight “friendly” dental visits – a free service offered at HPPH dental clinics for children aged three years and under.

“Children are recommended to see a dental professional within six months of getting their first tooth, or by one year of age,” says Anna Read, Registered Dental Hygienist. “A friendly visit to an HPPH dental clinic allows young children to get familiar with a dental setting and someone looking into their mouth. It is also an opportunity to spot oral health concerns early.”

At a friendly dental visit, one of the health unit’s dental hygienists will look in the child’s mouth for any concerns, such as early signs of tooth decay. They may, if appropriate, apply fluoride varnish to the teeth. Fluoride varnish helps to prevent cavities, and in some cases, may delay the progression of decay. The visit also includes oral health education to the parent/caregiver and a chance for them to ask questions about their child’s dental care and development.

In addition, if a family meets the income eligibility requirement, staff can assist them with enrolling their child in Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO). This provincial program provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households.

Free friendly dental visits for children aged three years and under are available by appointment at HPPH dental clinics:

  • Clinton | 77722B London Rd.
  • Listowel | 161 Inkerman St. W.
  • Stratford | 653 West Gore St.
  • Wingham | 270 Carling Terrace

To book an appointment parents can call 1-888-221-2133 ext. 3561.

Oral health is important for overall health. Primary (baby) teeth are essential for eating, smiling, talking, and keeping a place for adult teeth. Starting oral health habits early can keep a child’s smile healthy for a lifetime.