Acting Premier James Merlino and Minster for Health Jenny Mikakos this week announced a further 146 new primary and secondary schools will be invited to join the Smile Squad program this year.
Families in Campaspe, East Gippsland, Macedon Ranges, Maribyrnong, Melton, Wangaratta and parts of Casey and Hume are next on the list to receive free dental care.
The Smile Squad vans are visiting schools in Brimbank, Buloke, Greater Bendigo, Hepburn, Latrobe, Mansfield, and Towong from term 1 – joining schools in South Barwon, Box Hill, Cranbourne and Wodonga that received a visit last year.
“The Smile Squad has already made a big difference helping Victorian kids improve their oral health and saving families hundreds of dollars a year,” said the Acting Premier.
This year more than 300 schools will be invited to participate and offer dental health examination and free follow-up treatment to more than 100,000 additional Victorian students.
A quarter of children across Australia have untreated tooth decay. In Victoria, dental conditions are the highest single cause of preventable hospitalisations for kids under 10.
“Our kids deserve to have healthy happy smiles, but some families struggle to find the time and money to get to the dentist. We’re fixing that and laying the foundations for good oral health into the future,” said Minister Mikakos.
The Smile Squad vans provide dental health examination and free follow-up treatment to all Victorian government primary and secondary school students, including teeth cleaning, fluoride application, fissure sealants, fillings, root canals and any other non-cosmetic treatments to ensure our kids have healthy teeth.
Once fully rolled out in 2022, the program will provide dental health examination and free follow-up treatment to more than 650,000 Victorian government primary and secondary school students every year.
For more information about the program, see the Smile Squad website.