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The OPHS specifies that boards of health shall provide the Health Smiles Ontario (HSO) program in accordance with the Oral Health Protocol (2018).

In addition, the OPHS states that boards of health shall collect local oral health data and promote oral health based on locally identified needs. Local priorities include improving oral health in children, especially in children from lower socioeconomic status households.

This is accomplished through the provision of the HSO program, use of local data to identify opportunities to promote oral health, and the development of health promotion interventions to reduce oral health disease amongst priority groups.

  • Local school screening results show that children with decay and/or requiring urgent care has increased by 51% between the 2011/12 and 2016/17 school years.
  • Compared to Ontario, the percentage of children with urgent dental needs in 2016/17 was two-times greater locally.
  • School screening data from 2018/2019 showed that 12.4% of children screened required urgent dental care.