Children from Tatura Children’s Centre learned about best practice oral hygiene on Tuesday 7 August, with GV Health and the Smiles 4 Miles program striving to improve oral health across the region.
Smiles 4 Miles is an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria and is implemented locally by GV Health, with the aim of improving the oral health of preschool aged children and their families in the Greater Shepparton and Strathbogie Shires.
GV Health’s Health Promotion Officer, Lucy Stephens, says that about 1062 Greater Shepparton and Strathbogie Shire families are taking part in Smiles 4 Miles initiative in 2018.
“Today’s event is a great opportunity to teach children that good oral health is essential to your overall health and wellbeing,” she said. “We are trying to encourage healthy eating, the importance of drinking tap water and good oral hygiene from a young age, because we know many habits are formed early in life.”
GV Health’s Dental Manager, Lorraine Olsson, says the GV Health Dental Van outreach service visits many local kindergartens each year.
“Our dental therapists examine hundreds of children a year in our mobile surgery,” she said. “Any treatment required is carried out by a dental therapist and nurse on the spot. The therapist and nurse then discuss with the children the benefits of good oral health.”
“These visits help familiarise the children with the dental setting and reduces any fear or anxiety when visiting a dentist in the future,” Ms Olsson said.
The GV Health Dental Service currently has free appointments available for all children of primary school age and under to come in for a check- up and treatment as well as providing education about maintaining good oral health and its benefits. The dental service is located on the first floor at the main entrance to GV Health’s Graham Street site. Appointments can be made by calling 5832 3050.
About Smiles 4 Miles
Smiles 4 Miles is an award program which recognises early childhood services for implementing healthy eating and oral health policies, engaging with families about the importance of oral health, and educating children through a variety of fun learning experiences based on the three Smiles 4 Miles key messages – Drink well, Eat well and Clean well.