Dental Health

Good oral health plays an important role in your overall health. Keeping your teeth healthy throughout your life requires daily dental care, regular dental checkups from an early age and a healthy diet.

Dental programs and clinics

Huron Perth Public Health offers dental screenings and clinics.

Healthy Smiles Ontario is a free dental program for eligible children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households. 

Canada Dental Benefit - This interim dental benefit is intended to help lower dental costs for eligible families earning less than $90,000 per year. Parents and guardians can apply if the child receiving dental care is under 12 years old and does not have access to a private dental insurance plan or whose dental are not covered by another government dental program.

The Ontario Seniors Dental Care Program provides free, routine dental services for eligible low-income seniors. Apply online or pick up an application form at our Stratford (West Gore) or Clinton offices. Contact us for more information. 

Fluoride and dental health

Fluoride is a mineral that, along with good oral hygiene habits, can help prevent cavities from developing. It can even reverse or stop early tooth decay.

Fluoride is found naturally in the groundwater. In communities with low fluoride, it may be added to the local water supply to increase the concentration to an optimal level. This added fluoride helps strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities.

You can also get fluoride from food and from dental products such as toothpaste and fluoride rinses.

Ingesting too much fluoride in childhood can cause dental fluorosis. Fluorosis happens before age eight when the teeth are forming in the gums. It is usually mild and leads to small white spots on the surface of adult teeth.

You can prevent dental fluorosis from developing:

  • Use a smear of toothpaste (rice grain sized) or just water for children under 3 years of age, and a small amount of toothpaste (pea sized) for children aged 3 and older
  • Supervise children when they are brushing their teeth; make sure they are spitting out the toothpaste
  • Only use fluoride rinses if recommended by a dental professional
  • Using an alternative source of water for drinking, cooking, and preparing infant formula if you live in an area with high naturally occurring fluoride (more than 1.5mg/L) and have young children

Learn more about fluoride:

Fluoride and oral health | Government of Canada

Fluoride FAQs | Canadian Dental Association

Dental health at every age

It is never too early to start practicing healthy oral hygiene. Learn best practices for dental health at every age.


First teeth, or baby teeth, help your child eat and speak. They also hold space for adult teeth and help guide them into the correct position. Your child should brush their teeth twice daily for 2 minutes each time. “2 for 2” is all it takes to get good dental habits started.

You can prevent tooth decay in your child by:

  • Wiping your baby's teeth and gums with a clean cloth or small soft toothbrush after feeding
  • Checking your child's teeth regularly for decay (if you see white or brown spots, take your child to a dentist)
  • Taking your child to a dental professional by one year of age or within 6 months of getting their first tooth
  • If you offer sugary food and drinks, offer them at meals and snack times. Eating these types of food throughout the day increases the chances of cavities.
  • Offering only water between meals and snacks.
  • Using a smear of non-fluoride toothpaste or no toothpaste when your toddler brushes their teeth, until they turn 3. At age 3, or when your child can spit, use a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste.


Practice regular oral hygiene to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Visit the Canadian Dental Association for more information on dental health. Here are a few dental health tips:

  • Brush and floss your teeth daily
  • Use fluoride as recommended by your dentist and dental hygienist
  • Have regular dental check-ups
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and snacks to prevent tooth decay


As you age, you should continue practicing regular oral hygiene. Older adults can have unique dental issues. If you find it difficult to hold a toothbrush or floss, talk to your dental professional about finding an easier way that will work for you, like using an electric toothbrush.

Do you have dentures? Your false teeth need as much care as natural teeth. To keep germs and infections away:

  • Take your dentures out every night
  • Brush (without toothpaste) and rinse them
  • Soak them overnight, in denture cleaner or warm water