Dental services available to low income families without dental coverage.
We understand that when money is tight, it may be difficult financially for your children to see a dental professional when needed and maintain healthy teeth. Here are some options that may be available for your family:
- Government of B.C.: Healthy kids program
- University of British Columbia: Children's dental program
- Fraser Health: Flouride varnish program
- Government of Canada: Canada Dental Benefit
Accessing provincial plans, such as the BC Healthy Kids program, will not impact your family’s ability to qualify for the Canada Dental Benefit. Families are able to use both programs, provided they meet the qualifications.
Healthy kids program
If your family is eligible to receive Medical Services Plan (MSP) premium assistance through the Ministry of Health Services, your children are eligible for benefits through the healthy kids program. This program helps low income families with the costs of basic dental care for dependent children under 19 years of age.
Children are eligible for $2000 of basic dental services such as check-ups, X-rays, fillings, cleanings and extractions. Emergency treatment is available if your child has reached the limit and suffering dental pain. Orthodontics are not included.
To use services under the program you will need to first ask the dental office if they accept the healthy kids program and then show them your child's B.C. Care Card. Ask them to confirm coverage before each appointment. It's important to note that some dentist offices do not accept this program and some may not accept it as full payment. You can search for a dentist through the British Columbia Dental Association.
UBC children's dental program
The University of British Columbia's Faculty of Dentistry offers a children’s dental program. This program provides free basic dental and preventive services to low income children from the Lower Mainland who are not eligible for existing government-funded programs.
Children receive dental services during the academic year at the UBC Campus in Vancouver from the university's dental students. The students develop their knowledge and skills in pediatric dental care and enhance their understanding of the health needs of children with limited access to dental services. Contact our public health dental program to book an appointment for your child.
Fraser Health fluoride varnish program
Our Fluoride Varnish Program offers free fluoride varnish for children under age three who are not under the regular care of a dentist. Fluoride varnish is a paint-on fluoride that hardens to the outer surface of the teeth and takes about one minute to apply. Fluoride is a safe mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. To book an appointment, please call 604-476-7087.
At the appointment, dental staff will:
- Provide a risk assessment for tooth decay to determine if your child requires fluoride varnish.
- Provide appropriate dental health information to promote healthy dental behaviours.
- Help families access dental care and available resources.
Canada Dental Benefit
The interim Canada 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.