Please find some frequently asked questions about dental health below.
- Can the Health Unit test my home’s drinking water for fluoride, nitrites and nitrates?
- What does “financial hardship” mean?
- How much fluoride is added to London’s drinking water?
- Are there any risks associated with fluoride in drinking water?
- What can be done to decrease the risk of dental fluorosis?
- Can London’s water be used to mix infant formula from liquid concentrate or powder?
- Can my organization receive an Oral Health presentation?
There are many dental offices in London and Middlesex County. You can find the phone number and addresses of these offices in local phone directories under Dentists. The Ontario Dental Association can help you find contact information for dentists in your area. You may also want to ask a friend or co-worker for the name of a dentist. Dental care is not covered by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) and you are expected to pay for services you receive.
The Schulich School of Medicine and Dentistry provides dental care at reduced fees. Dental care is provided by dental students under the supervision of licensed dentists. For information or an appointment call:
- Children’s Clinic - 519-661-3329
- Adult Clinic - 519-661-3326
- Emergency Clinic - 519-661-3331
The dental hygiene students provide preventive dental services - tooth cleaning, dental inspections, x-rays, and fluoride under supervision. These services are at a reduced rate and are provided at the Western University from November to May of each school year. For information or an appointment call: 519-661-3326
Health Unit Dental Clinic
The Middlesex-London Health Unit has a dental clinic at 50 King Street, London Ontario. The clinic provides preventive services for people who have the following dental coverage:
The Dental Clinic also provides:
- Preventive Services Only program (Prevoh) for eligible children under the age of 17 at no cost.
- Smile Clean program to Adults on OW or ODSP and parents of children that receive the Healthy Smiles Ontario program for $30.00.
For information on programs offered at the Dental Clinic call:
Oral Health Administration 519-663-5317 x 2231
50 King Dental Clinic 519-663-5449
For emergency services, contact your family dentist or contact a dentist through the yellow pages. For after-hours dental emergencies that involve severe pain, swelling, bleeding or trauma you can contact your nearest hospital or urgent care centre.
- No, the Health Unit does not provide this service.
- Private accredited laboratories may offer this service. You can contact the laboratories for more information.
- Additional questions related to drinking water can be directed to the Health Unit’s Environmental Health Team
- In asking that your child become a client of the Preventive Service Only program, you declare that the cost of the dental care your child needs causes a financial hardship. This means that any of the following may apply:
- You will not be able to pay your rent or mortgage this month.
- You will not be able to pay your household bills like heating, hydro, and groceries.
- You will have to go to a food bank to feed your family this month.
Fluoride is added to London’s drinking water to bring the levels to 0.7 mg / litre (mg/L) or parts per million (ppm). This is the level recommended by Health Canada to prevent tooth decay and minimize the risk of dental fluorosis. The level of fluoride in the drinking water is closely monitored by the City of London and the Middlesex-London Health Unit.
At the levels used to fluoridate London's drinking water, the only recognized risk is a condition called dental fluorosis. This is a condition where spots form on the teeth. In its mild and very mild form, the spots are white and only noticeable by a dental professional. In its moderate or severe form, the spots can be brown and more noticeable. Fluorosis comes from fluoride exposure when the teeth are forming and is mostly a problem in the permanent front teeth which form at around 22 to 26 months of age. A study by Health Canada found very little fluorosis in Canadian children. Mild fluorosis was found in 4% of children and very mild fluorosis was found in 12% of children; no severe fluorosis was noted and hardly any moderate fluorosis was noted in the study.
Numerous reviews, including a recent review by Health Canada, have not identified any other health risk from the levels of fluoride added to London’s drinking water. Specifically, the reviews did not identify a risk for fractures, thyroid problems, cancer or effects on IQ.
The risk of fluorosis increases when young children swallow fluoridated toothpaste. To decrease this risk, the Health Unit recommends that children less than 3 years of age not use fluoridated toothpaste, unless suggested by their dentist. For children 3 years of age and older, only a very small pea-sized amount of fluoridated toothpaste should be used and children should be encouraged not to swallow the toothpaste. Children 3 to 6 years of age should be helped by an adult with brushing their teeth.
Yes, infant formula from concentrate or powder can be mixed with London’s water. According to Health Canada, infant formula prepared with water fluoridated at the optimal level of 0.7 mg/L maximizes the protective role of fluoride during the development of the permanent teeth while minimizing the risk of dental fluorosis.
- The Oral Health team can accommodate requests for presentations on oral health and hygiene, and the programs and services offered at the Health Unit.
- Requests for presentations can be directed to (519) 663-5317 extension 2231.
Last modified on: March 14, 2018