COHI - Children's Oral Health Initiative

Education sessions with our big toothbrush and teeth models

Oral health impacts total body wellness

"Children ages 0-7 have access to preventive oral health care and activities while living on and off reserve"

Preventing tooth decay and providing dental care to children living on and off reserve

Our goal is to improve children’s oral health, and therefore their overall health and wellbeing.

We teach parents, caregivers, pregnant women, and children about good oral hygiene habits that include both daily self-care and care provided by oral health professionals. It begins in infancy and is a routine part of a healthy lifestyle for all ages and families.  

Mary Jane Harper, COHI Dental Worker Aide, working in the community
Lindsey Harik, Dental Hygienist


What is COHI?

The Children’s Oral Health Initiative (COHI) is a government funded service-based program

COHI was designed based on evidence that indicates:

  • Tooth decay is an infectious disease;
  • Tooth decay is entirely preventable;
  • Oral health impacts total body wellness;
  • Early prevention and education are crucial to good oral health and less disease.

Our program is focused on education and prevention


On Reserve

We serve two of the four communities. We serve Red Sucker Lake and Wasagamack. St. Theresa's Point has their own Dental therapist


Urban Clinic

In order to meet the oral health of our growing urban population, the COHI team has set up a dental room inside our clinic at 1880 Ellice Avenue in Winnipeg. Our goal is to have 2 urban clinic days a month to provide services to the children here in Winnipeg.



We primarily see and service the children in the schools.

Ensuring Access To Dental Supplies

Access to basic dental supplies not only promotes good oral health but also instills habits that lead to lifelong wellness, positively impacting the wellbeing of the community children.

COHI Delivery out to Island Lake Communities


Parent signing a consent form for their child to participate in our program



"We are not dentists. We don't pull teeth; we don't use needles. "



Collection of COHI consent forms with updated medical histories signed by caregivers before they can participate.



Early Dental Screenings for children. Forms filled out and looking for cavities, missing teeth and any infections which are written on the form.



• Fluoride varnish application
• Placement of sealants without the need for dental freezing. This prevents food impaction and bacteria getting into crevasses and causing cavities.
• One on one oral hygiene sessions
• Silver diamine fluoride treatment to arrest existing decay.
• Referral to dentist or specialist for surgery when needed


Things We Want You To Know

No we are not. I’m a registered dental hygienist and Mary Jane Harper is a dental worker aid.

No! we do not do any procedures that cause pain or need freezing with needles. No needles… yay!

We are all about prevention and education.

NOT TRUE! In fact, having your child enrolled in COHI ensures they get the oral care supplies they need to brush and floss.

Our program is about education and prevention, and the fluoride varnish is a big part of it. Even though cavities may have been filled, new ones can develop. Fluoride varnish application 3 times a year helps prevent cavities and strengthens teeth.

This program doesn’t replace regular dental visits, it compliments them. So do both! It’s the best for your child’s overall health.

Our Team

A dental hygienist and a COHI aide work together to deliver the program services in the communities.

The COHI aide is a trained community member who lives on reserve – hired by the community to support the dental professional and provide some COHI services independently.

The importance of oral health is increased in the communities when the dental hygienist is present regularly and is supported by the COHI aide. A strong partnership with the community in this way ensures the success of the COHI program.

Lindsey Harik. Dental Hygenist

Lindsey Harik, RDH

Dental Hygienist,

How to Contact Lindsey Harik:

Phone: 204-947-2397 Ext. 122

Mary Jane Harper

Dental Worker Aide