DHSV news and media stories

Victoria’s Biggest Little Smile search officially underway

07 August 2017

The search for Victoria’s Biggest Little Smile will be launched today as Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) and Zoos Victoria team up to fight oral disease in children.

The Biggest Little Smiles Competition encourages children to creatively think about our three key messages of: Eat well,  Drink well and Clean well.

To enter, families are encouraged to send in photos of their children demonstrating any of the three key messages in a creative and engaging way. The launch coincides with Dental Health Week.

DHSV Dr Deborah Cole said the partnership between DHSV and Zoos Victoria was about learning new ways to engage families so that poor oral health does not become a significant issue in the family.

It features the hippos, who like humans require their teeth to be brushed every day.

“In 2016-2017, half the number children presenting at our dental clinics had a history of tooth decay,” Dr Cole said.

“We hope that parents and children will recognise the importance of brushing their teeth and attending dental appointments regularly.”

“A staggering 50 per cent of all Australian children usually drink one or more glasses of sugar sweetened drinks every day and only two thirds of Australian children follow the recommendation of brushing teeth two times per day.”

“This competition is about encouraging children to develop healthy habits for healthy teeth from a young age.”

Werribee Open Range Zoo Hippo Keeper, Ross Taylor said oral hygiene was an important part of the hippo’s daily routine.

Like us, hippos need to take good care of their teeth so it is great that we can partner with Dental Health Services Victoria to share this message with our visitors.

“We clean the hippo’s teeth every day and make sure they have a balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy,” Mr Taylor said.

How to enter: visit Biggest Little Smiles for more information

Photo opportunity (Monday, 7 August 2017, 10am, Werribee Open Range Zoo): The search for Victoria’s Biggest Little Smile has taken us to the Werribee Zoo, home of our photogenic hippos. Zookeepers will be feeding the hippos and cleaning their teeth. Photo op available with children enjoying the hippo presentation.

Contact details:

For more information and interviews, contact:
Mingsia Lee
Dental Health Services Victoria
T: 9341 1139

Ground contact:
Nathan Kirkwood
Werribee Open Range Zoo NKirkwood@zoo.org.au
M: 0408 030 643