Free Dental Programs for Children in Ontario

Free Dental Programs for Children in Ontario

Dental care is essential but not always easy to get.

In Ontario, many families pay for dental care or get extra insurance. But dental care can get expensive, especially for kids.

Fortunately, several government-backed initiatives offer free or significantly reduced dental services for kids.

In this blog post, we’ll provide an overview of Ontario’s free and subsidized dental services available through government initiatives in the province.

Why Is Dental Care Important for Children?

Kids need to take care of their teeth. It’s good for their health, helps them speak clearly, and makes them feel good about themselves.

When kids take care of their teeth early, they have fewer dental problems later on.

Ontario’s Free Dental Programs for Children

Ontario offers various programs ensuring all kids, regardless of their financial background, receive quality dental care:

1. Healthy Smiles Ontario: This government-funded program provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children 17 years old and under from low-income households.

2. Canada Dental Benefit: Canada Dental Benefit is intended to help lower dental costs for eligible families earning less than $90,000 annually. Parents and guardians may be eligible if they pay for dental care for a child under 12 years old who does not have access to a private dental insurance plan.

3. Dental Grants Program: The Dental Grant Program connects you with trusted dentists and covers up to 30% of your treatment, depending on the kind of procedure you select. When you book your dental treatment, the Grant will be automatically deducted from the cost.


Regular dental check-ups or examinations are more than just a quick look inside your child’s mouth. They are the first line of defence against potential dental issues. During these sessions, dentists and orthodontists meticulously examine your child’s teeth, gums, and overall oral environment.

The key advantage of these routine assessments lies in early problem detection. Addressing dental concerns at their onset is simpler and less invasive. For instance, treating a minor cavity is far more manageable than handling extensive decay affecting the tooth’s nerve.

Moreover, these evaluations offer insights into a child’s oral hygiene habits, facilitating personalized advice. Proactive dental examinations ensure that minor issues don’t snowball into significant complications.

Programs like Healthy Smiles Ontario, Dental Grants Program, and Canada Dental Benefit cover these examinations for children.

Radiographs (X-rays)

The world beneath our gums is vast and intricate. While a visual examination gives a lot of information, certain things can only be seen with the help of radiographs or X-rays.

These images offer a deep dive into a child’s oral structure, revealing everything from spaces between teeth to root structures.

X-rays are indispensable in dentistry, especially for children, as they help spot cavities between teeth—a frequent occurrence in children. Additionally, they provide clarity on tooth growth and alignment, which is essential for potential orthodontic treatments.

In a nutshell, X-rays provide a comprehensive understanding of your child’s oral health, ensuring no stone is left unturned.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario and Canada Dental Benefit program covers radiographs for children.

Preventive Services

The saying “prevention is better than cure” rings particularly true in dental care.

Preventive measures like fluoride treatments and dental sealants aim to bolster a child’s dental defences. Fluoride reinforces tooth enamel, making it more resistant to decay. When applied directly to the teeth, it can reverse early signs of decay and provide a protective shield.

On the other hand, dental sealants are thin protective coatings applied to the chewing surfaces of back teeth. They act as barriers, keeping out bacteria and food particles, significantly reducing the risk of cavities.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario and Canada Dental Benefits program covers preventive services for children.

Restorative Services

Despite our best preventive measures, sometimes dental issues arise. Here’s where restorative services like cavity fillings come into play.

For instance, a dental filling is more than a mere cavity plug; it restores tooth integrity, halts further decay, and ensures comfortable chewing for the child.

Broadly, restorative services, whether it’s a crown or a filling, strive to reinstate the natural function and aesthetics of a child’s teeth.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario and Canada Dental Benefit program covers restorative services for children.

Endodontic Services

Endodontics, commonly associated with root canal treatments, is often misunderstood.

At its core, endodontics deals with the nerve or pulp of the tooth. If decay or injury affects the nerve, it can lead to infections, pain, and potential abscesses.

Root canal treatment involves carefully removing this infected pulp and cleaning and sealing the tooth to ward off future infections.

Contrary to popular belief, modern techniques and anesthesia make the procedure painless. It’s a means to save a natural tooth that might otherwise require extraction, preserving a child’s natural bite, ensuring adjacent teeth remain in place, and facilitating average jaw growth.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario program and Canada Dental Benefit covers endodontic services for children.

Periodontal Services

Teeth are only as healthy as the gums and bones supporting them. Periodontal services cater to the health of these foundational tissues.

For children, gum health is paramount. While they might not face the same periodontal challenges as adults, early gum issues can manifest during childhood.

Routine cleanings, scaling, and proper brushing and flossing techniques can stave off gum diseases, ensuring a radiant smile and a robust foundation for their teeth.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario program covers periodontal services for children.

Prosthodontic Services

Prosthodontics addresses the restoration and replacement of damaged or missing teeth.

Children might lose teeth prematurely due to injuries, decay, or congenital issues. In these cases, prosthodontic services like dental crowns or bridges come into play.

These treatments enhance the aesthetics of a child’s smile and restore functionality, ensuring ease in eating and speaking.

The Healthy Smiles Ontario and Canada Dental Benefit program covers prosthodontic services for children.

Oral Surgery Services

The term ‘surgery’ might seem daunting, but oral surgical procedures are typically straightforward and executed with utmost precision.

These services span from simple tooth extractions to intricate procedures. For example, if a baby tooth doesn’t shed timely, obstructing the emergence of a permanent tooth, a straightforward extraction can make way for the new tooth.

Oral surgeries also address concerns like impacted wisdom teeth in older children or dental implant placements in special cases.

Both the Canada Dental Benefit and Healthy Smiles Ontario programs cover oral surgery services for children.


A pain-free and relaxed dental experience is paramount, especially for children. Anesthesia plays a pivotal role in ensuring this.

Whether it’s local anesthesia to numb a specific area or sedation for apprehensive children, the primary goal remains consistent: a painless, stress-free dental experience.

Ensuring a child’s comfort during procedures not only facilitates the current treatment but also curtails potential dental anxieties in the future.

The Canada Dental Benefit, Healthy Smiles Ontario, and Dental Grants Program all cover anesthesia services tailored for children.


Ensuring our children have optimal oral health is more than just about a radiant smile; it’s about laying the foundation for a lifetime of well-being and confidence.

With a range of essential dental services and the potential support of Ontario’s free dental programs, every child can receive top-tier dental care.

As parents, staying informed and proactive can make all the difference. Together, let’s prioritize their smile and overall health because every child deserves the best start in life.

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Dr. Amanda Huminicki

BScDent, MScDent, DMD
I love working with children, which is why I have so much fun as a pediatric dentist. I taught children dance lessons while in school, and knew that I wanted to keep working with kids as a dentist. I’m lucky to have the privilege of laughing and sharing joy with my patients, and I enjoy watching them grow up into amazing young adults. I find it so rewarding to be part of a fantastic team that helps kids learn about their oral health and have a positive experience at the dentist.


  • Bachelor of Science degree (Dentistry), University of Manitoba
  • Doctor of Medical Dentistry degree, University of Manitoba
  • Masters of Science degree (Dentistry), University of Manitoba

Continuing Education

I enjoy keeping current in the field of pediatric dentistry and getting together with colleagues to learn and share experiences. I attend many courses and conferences each year and am a member of the following organizations:

  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • York Region Dental Society

In the Practice

I’m so fortunate to work with a fantastic group of people at KDG! The entire team is so caring and dedicated to providing the best possible care to our patients, and we have a lot of fun together at work. It’s a joy to work closely with such talented and knowledgeable people who also have incredibly kind hearts. Our patients and their families are so much fun to interact with, and there’s always a positive and upbeat feeling in the clinic.

Family and Community

I recently moved to Toronto from Winnipeg with my husband and am really enjoying getting to know my new community. The city is so exciting and I’m having fun exploring Toronto and all the amazing communities nearby. I enjoy staying active, and can usually be found running, at spin class, doing yoga, or walking outside on a nice day. I also love spending time with my family and friends, and try to see them as much as possible.

Dr. Krista Lee

BSc, DDS, Cert. Ortho.
I am enthusiastic and passionate about what I do and I feel very lucky to be an orthodontist. I get to meet new people every day in the office, and I always learn a lot about them. I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to impact the lives of others in a positive way.Because I see my patients every month for a couple of years, I really get a chance to get to know them, watching the young ones grow and mature. It makes me the happiest when a patient comes in and is excited be here and wants to share good news with me, like graduating, getting straight A’s, or their first goal at a soccer game. They know that I’m interested in them, I care, and I am proud of their accomplishments.

I appreciate that they are willing to let me help them with their smiles, and that they are willing to do their part, too. It’s a team effort because the orthodontist, the patient, the family, and the staff all have to work together to create beautiful smiles!


  • Bachelors of Science, University of Western Ontario
  • Dentistry, University of Western Ontario
  • General Practice Residency, University of British Columbia and Vancouver General Hospital
  • Orthodontic Specialty, New York University in Manhattan
  • Board Eligible for the American Board of Orthodontists
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada

Continuing Education

During my time at New York University, I was an instructor for the Invisalign® course for dental students, and the orthodontic course for the dental honors students. I’ve learned so much during my education and enjoy sharing this knowledge with my patients and staff.

I’ve also published research in the American Journal of Orthodontics, Journal of Canadian Dentistry, and Oral Health. Our profession is moving toward evidenced-based practices and I think it’s very important to help support this.

While practicing as a general dentist, I had the opportunity to provide dental care to the First Nations’ population in the Northwest Territories, Northern Manitoba, and the Queen Charlotte Islands in BC. I also had the opportunity to provide dental outreach to children’s hospitals and orphanages in Vietnam and Cambodia, which was very rewarding. Locally, LA Orthodontics is proud to support the Sick Kids Foundation.

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Association for Orthodontics
  • American Association for Orthodontics
  • Northeastern Society for Orthodontics

Family and Community

I grew up in Vancouver, BC, and am very excited to be part of the Stouffville community! We have recently joined the Whitchurch-Stouffville Chamber of Commerce and I have met many great people and everyone has been very welcoming. My family in Vancouver includes my parents, younger brother and sister, and my older brother in Singapore. All of us are very close and get along well. In my spare time, I enjoy ballet, travel, cooking, and snorkeling.

Dr. Edina Heder

MScDent., DMD, Cert. Pedo.
I love kids. They are fun-loving and you can joke around with them all day long. That’s why I find my work in pediatric dentistry so rewarding. I get to spend time with some of the brightest, most fun people in the world, helping them stay healthy and develop good habits for a lifetime of wellness.


Before becoming a dentist, I attained the following education:

  • Doctor of Medical Dentistry Degree, University of Manitoba
  • Clinical Director of the Undergraduate Pediatric Dentistry, University of Manitoba
  • Pediatric Dentistry Certificate and Masters Degree in Dentistry, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey


Continuing Education

I maintain memberships with several professional organizations that ensure I stay informed about the latest technology and techniques in my field. I belong to the following associations:

  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • York Region Dental Society
  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

In the Practice

I am proud to be a part of this practice and to associate with so many excellent professionals. I have a strong sense of home here, which is very important to me. My family moved from Bosnia when I was a child and we settled in Winnipeg where I grew up. After earning my DMD degree, I practiced and taught there before going to New Jersey to specialize. I moved to Ontario after graduating from the pediatric program to become a part of the LA team. I love the variety of my work and how friendly the atmosphere at the office is every day. It not only makes my job as nice as it is, it also helps provide a great atmosphere for my patients. Having a positive experience at the dentist as a child can make a big difference in person’s lifelong outlook on oral health.

Family and Community

My husband and I live in Gormley, Ontario where we are happy to raise our very active children. The kids keep us busy with a variety of activities, including gymnastics at Pulsars and swimming in Stouffville. I enjoy all of the time I get to spend at home and in my community with my family.

Dr. Zhemeng Wang

DDS, Cert. Pedo.
First and foremost, I love children. They inspire me every day to have more fun and to be more energetic, creative, and optimistic. I am very lucky that, as a pediatric dentist, my job gives me the opportunity to interact with kids all day long, and to help them with their oral health and overall health.


  • Bachelor’s degree, McGill University
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery degree, University of Western Ontario
  • Advanced Training in Pediatric Dentistry, New York University College of Dentistry

Continuing Education

I greatly value the importance of keeping up with the latest advances in my field. Throughout the year, I attend several conferences and continuing education courses offered by my professional associations, which include:

  • American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Canadian Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Ontario Society of Pediatric Dentistry
  • Chinese Canadian Dental Society

In the Practice

I truly believe that I work at one of the finest teams in the field of oral health. It is wonderful to be a part of an organization that cares so deeply for patients and works to provide the best treatment setting possible. I am confident that my patients will be comfortable in this practice and committed in providing a great experience at each visit.

Family and Community

I really love Toronto and all the opportunities it provides. I am proud of my work with the Chinese Canadian Dental Society, of which I am a past president, as well as the educational sessions I have conducted at several schools in Richmond Hill and Markham. In my leisure time, I like to be with family and friends, whether it’s catching a movie or exploring one of Toronto’s excellent restaurants. I stay fit by running and practicing yoga. I also like to travel when I get the chance.

Dr. Anthony Antoniazzi

BSc, DDS, Cert. Ortho.
I feel very privileged to be an orthodontist, because my profession has truly changed the way people smile. Orthodontics can have a positive impact on self-esteem and it is amazing to see the changes it can have on an individual’s self-confidence. I truly feel as though I have the greatest job in the world, and I enjoy coming to work every day. Because our practice treats both children and adults, we are very fortunate to meet many different people and build personal and professional relationships with them. Not only can we help our patients, but we can also learn from them.

We have a strong, team approach at the office, hopefully making every treatment more efficient and enjoyable. My team and I have the experience and knowledge required to create beautiful smiles, and, best of all, we love what we do! My profession allows me to give back to the community, and to give confidence through a new smile!


  • Bachelor of Science Degree – Laurentian University
  • Doctorate of Dental Surgery – University of Western Ontario
  • Advanced Education in General Dentistry – Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
  • Orthodontic Specialty – Jacksonville University, Florida
  • Board Eligible for the American Board of Orthodontics
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Dentists of Canada

Continuing Education

I have been exposed to a wide variety of continuing education courses which have helped mold the way I practice orthodontics. We believe in an evidence-based approach when employing new techniques in our practice. Not only do we take into consideration the dental literature and doctors’ experience and expertise, but we also truly value patients’ input.

As a part of my continuing education, I dedicated a full year to focusing on crown and bridge and implant dentistry. As many complex orthodontic cases require an interdisciplinary-approach, it is helpful to have this background and understanding when I am planning treatment and communicating with the dentists of our patients.

Professional Affiliations

  • Canadian Association of Orthodontics
  • Progressive Orthodontist Study Group

Family and Community

I am originally from Kirkland Lake and really enjoy the similarities I have found here in Stouffville. Everyone is warm and friendly, and even though it’s a big city, it has the charm and feeling of a small town! My parents still live up north and own a pharmacy in Kirkland Lake, and I have two older sisters and four really fun nephews! In my spare time, I enjoy golf, fishing, hockey, live music, and doing anything outdoors.

I am new to the Stouffville area but in the past I have been active in my community through coaching youth sports, especially hockey, baseball, and volleyball. I also volunteer for the Christmas Wish Foundation and Meals on Wheels. I understand the importance of being a community-minded citizen and I am excited to become an active member of the Stouffville community!