Say, ‘Oral health!’ Your smile can reveal much about you
Oral health and general health go hand-in-hand, notes the Eastern Ontario Health Unit.
It’s important to help kids develop good oral hygiene habits from an early age. Oral diseases (e.g. cavities and gum disease) become more complex over time and can affect how your child eats, looks and speaks. Children with poor oral health tend to struggle in school, have lower self-esteem and can develop problems with their health later in life.
Good oral health habits and regular dental checkups are needed to maintain good oral health. Your child’s first visit to the dentist should be scheduled at about 1 year of age, or within 6 months after the first tooth appears.
For information about how to care for and encourage your child’s healthy teeth, visit the Canadian Dental Association’s Dental Care for Children website.
For some families, dental care may not be affordable. The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care offers a program through Ontario health units that provides dental care free-of-charge to children age 17 and under in low-income households. The Healthy Smiles Ontario program covers regular visits to a licensed dental care provider, such as a dentist or dental hygienist, to establish and maintain good oral health. It covers a full range of preventive and early treatment dental services including check-ups, cleaning, fillings, x-rays, scaling and more.
To find out if your child is eligible for the Healthy Smiles Ontario program, visit www.ontario.ca/healthysmiles or call the EOHU at 613-933-1375 or 1-800-267-7120.