Every year, the Hastings and Prince Edward Counties Health Unit conducts oral health screening in elementary schools. Every student screened takes home an oral health report card with any suggested or required dental care. This is mandated by the Ministry of Health. The Health Unit reports that for the 2012-2013 school year, 12% of children in Hastings and Prince Edward counties required urgent dental care compared to the provincial rate of 6%. Urgent care includes any large cavity or cavities, infection, abnormal mouth sores or any reported oral pain. There is a demonstrated need for dental services for children and the Health Unit has a number of health promotion projects for 2014 in efforts to enable all children to achieve and maintain optimal health. The participation rates in our area for school screening are very high, and we have a lower rate of refusals or exclusions compared to the province as a whole. For more information about oral health programs and services call the Health Unit at: 1-800-267-2803.