The Andrews Labor Government’s Smile Squad has now provided free dental check-ups to more than 1,000 students in regional Victoria, with the landmark program that is saving parents time and money being rolled out in Bendigo.
Premier Daniel Andrews joined Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan and Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards today at White Hills Primary School, where students were getting free dental check-ups from the Smile Squad for the first time.
The program will provide free examinations and follow up treatment to all 644 students at White Hills Primary, as well as handing out free dental packs – including a toothbrush, toothpaste, and oral health information.
More than 100 students at four schools in Bendigo have already seen the Smile Squad in Term One, and Bendigo Health is now inviting all 35 public primary and secondary schools across Greater Bendigo to participate in the program – offering free dental treatment to more than 12,500 local students.
Since the Smile Squad began visiting schools in Term 3 last year, it has provided more than 2,400 free dental examinations and more than 1,600 follow up treatments, including fluoride prevention and fissure sealants.
By the end of the year, more than 300 schools across the state will have access to the program and, once fully rolled out in 2022, more than 650,000 public school kids will have access to free oral examinations and follow up treatment every year.
This year the Smile Squad is set to visit Campaspe, Macedon Ranges, Hepburn, Buloke, Wangaratta, Mansfield, Wodonga, Maribyrnong, Melton, Brimbank, Towong, South Barwon, Box Hill, Cranbourne, Latrobe, East Gippsland and parts of Casey and Hume.
More information about the program can be found at smilesquad.vic.gov.au
As noted by Premier Daniel Andrews
“Thousands of children have already had free dental examinations and treatment from the Smile Squad, and Bendigo students are next.”
“Being a parent is busy enough. With this investment, a trip to the dentist will be one less thing for parents to worry about.”
As noted by Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan
“Tooth decay is preventable with the right treatment and check-ups. That’s why we’re making sure every Bendigo student in primary and secondary public schools will get the care they need, at no cost to their families.”
As noted by Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards
“A quarter of children across Australia have untreated tooth decay – we’re addressing that through this landmark program, giving local kids better teeth and a brighter smile.”