DHSV news and media stories

First Port Phillip childcare receives Smiles 4 Miles award for healthy little teeth

13 December 2016


First Port Phillip childcare receives Smiles 4 Miles award for healthy little teeth

Smiles 4 Miles logoAda Mary A’Beckett Children’s Centre has become the first Port Phillip early childhood service to receive a Smiles 4 Miles award, presented by Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) to recognise the centre’s passion for improving oral health of children and families in their community.

Smiles 4 Miles is a Victoria-wide DHSV initiative, aimed at improving the oral health of preschool aged children and their families by encouraging healthy eating, healthy drinking and good oral hygiene. DHSV works with Inner South Community Health to implement the program across early childhood services in the Port Phillip area.

DHSV CEO, Dr Deborah Cole said that Smiles 4 Miles is aimed at helping young children develop great oral health habits now and into the future.

According to DHSV data, hospital admission rates for dental conditions in Port Phillip children aged 0 to 4 years increased from 2.1 (per 1000 persons) in 2007-08 to 2.5 in 2011-12.  This is lower compared to the Victorian average of 4.9.

“Tooth decay is largely preventable and Smiles 4 Miles is doing a brilliant job in helping our young Victorians maintain healthy teeth through the simple key messages of Drink well, Eat well and Clean well,” Dr Cole said.

By achieving their Smiles 4 Miles award, Ada Mary has completed the seven criteria in Smiles 4 Miles and provided initiatives that encourage healthy eating and good oral health for children and families now and in the future.

Centre Manager at Ada Mary A’Beckett Children’s Centre, Maree Leslie, said that the children have enjoyed learning about great oral health through activities such as making healthy food plates, displays of sugar in common drinks and a visit from the Inner South dental clinic.

“It’s great to see our kids going home to teach their parents about brushing well and eating less sugary foods,” Mrs Leslie said.

“Smiles 4 Miles has benefitted not just our children, but also their families and educators in learning about good oral health.”

For more information, contact Mingsia Lee on 9341 1139 or Mingsia.lee@dhsv.org.au.