Supporting children’s smiles in the Macedon Ranges

Cobaw Community Health (Cobaw) is currently supporting early childhood settings in the Macedon Ranges through the implementation of Dental Health Services Victoria’s Smiles 4 Miles oral health promotion program.

The program aims to improve the oral health of preschool aged children and their families by encouraging healthy eating, healthy drinking and good oral hygiene. Services achieve the Smiles 4 Miles award by implementing healthy eating and oral health policies, engaging with families about the importance of oral health, and educating children through a variety of fun learning experiences based on the three Smiles 4 Miles messages – Drink well, eat well and clean well.

To further support oral health, the State government has announced a fluoride varnish project to be delivered in the Macedon Ranges. Statistics demonstrate that children living in non-fluoridated rural areas continue to experience higher rates of hospital admissions for tooth decay. The main oral health condition experienced by children is tooth decay, affecting over half of all Australian children, making it five times more prevalent than asthma. For non-fluoridated towns across the Macedon Ranges Shire, fluoride varnish applied twice a year can be highly effective in stopping tooth decay in its early stages among high risk children with the aim of preventing oral disease in the future.

There are four early childhood services in the Macedon Ranges participating in the fluoride varnish project. With parental consent, a dental practitioner from Sunbury Community Health will visit the service to provide a free dental check-up, application of fluoride, and discuss developing good dental habits with the children.

“If your service is interested in supporting and improving the health of local children, we encourage you to get in touch. Cobaw Community Health supports early childhood settings through both the Smiles 4 Miles program and the Achievement Program, an internationally recognised program that supports health and wellbeing in education and workplace settings,” said Julie Cairns, Cobaw Acting CEO.

For further information contact Bec Huddy, Health Promotion Coordinator 1300 026 229 or admin@cobaw.org.au