BCH launches Smile Squad

Students across the Bellarine Peninsula are set to receive free, high quality dental care without having to leave the school grounds.

In the coming months a friendly Smile Squad team from Bellarine Community Health will arrive on site in their bright orange van to carry out oral health examinations.

The 2019/20 Victorian State Budget announced $321.9 million to deliver the Smile Squad school dental program, designed to improve children’s oral health.

Smile Squad provides free dental care to all Victorian government primary and secondary school students.

“We know it can be difficult for families to find the time and the money to get to the dentist. That’s why we’re delighted to be providing free, high quality dental care to all government school students in our area, without them having to leave the school grounds,” says BCH Dental Manager Robyn Bastiaan.

The delivery of the Smile Squad program is being managed by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) who are the lead oral health agency in Victoria.

DHSV is supporting more than 50 community dental agencies across Victoria, – including Bellarine Community Health – to implement the program.

Across Australia, a quarter of children have untreated tooth decay and in Victoria dental conditions are the highest cause of preventable hospitalisations for children under 10.

Oral disease is one of the most common and expensive diseases to treat, but it is also the most preventable. That’s why the Smile Squad program has a strong focus on early prevention and education.

Smile Squad provides free check-ups and treatment including teeth cleaning, fluoride applications, fillings and any other non-cosmetic treatments to make sure our young people have healthy teeth.

“When it comes to oral health, early prevention is key. Smile Squad works in partnership with local schools, students and families to help them achieve and maintain good oral health, for life.”

All Victorian government primary and secondary school students will receive their own free dental packs, complete with a toothbrush, toothpaste, and lots of education about the benefits of a healthy, bright smile.

The Smile Squad dental vans are staffed by highly skilled professionals with extensive experience in treating children, and a passion for improving their oral health outcomes – for life.

Once fully rolled out, Smile Squad will provide check-ups and dental treatment for around 650,000 students every year.

The Department of Health (DH) and DHSV are leading the wider development of this initiative.

For more details on the Smile Squad program, visit: www.smilesquad.vic.gov.au

To find out more about other BCH public and private dental services click here.

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