The team’s travelling to the 41 Corangamite, Warrnambool, Moyne, Southern Grampians and Glenelg kindergartens currently participating in the Smiles 4 Miles screening program. Yesterday it was Camperdown Kinder’s turn.
Health promotions officer Alexandra Bell, oral health therapist Kim White and dental nurse Kelly Fitzgerald disarmingly chatted to the kids about oral health and healthy eating, provided a dental screen for each of them (with parental consent) and gave them a letter to take home detailing whether they’d need to see a dentist for a follow-up.
All of them, regardless of need for follow-up, were placed on a 12-month recall and each, as an important protection from tooth decay, received (with parental consent) topical fluoride.
‘This is a really exciting outreach program because it gets dental therapists out and into community. It breaks down some of the barriers for children to attend a dental clinic and it also gives the children practice in a comfortable setting with a therapist,’ Alexandra explains.
‘The program’s being well received. The children are really happy to participate in the screening and they love taking home their free goody bag that includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and a dentist mirror. The kinder teachers, meantime, think it’s a great extension to the work they’re doing in promoting the key messages of oral health: drink well, eat well and clean well.’
As mentioned earlier, 41 kinders are enrolled in the current Smiles 4 Miles screening program for the first half of this year. Alexandra hopes even more will sign up in the near future.
photo 1 > Showing off their pearly whites after their free screening is Cess Evans (from left), Rueben Van Den Berghe and Zoe Unwin.
photo 2 > Oral health therapist Kim White spent the morning at Camperdown Kindergarten providing free dental screenings to enthusiastic youngsters including Cess Evans.
photo 3 > It’s Zoe Unwin’s turn with oral health therapist Kim White.
photo 4 > Dental nurse Kelly Fitzgerald rewards Rueben Van Den Berghe with a special sticker.
photo 5 > Layla Wood, Phillipa Murphy and Essi Myers show off their goody bags with Oral Health Therapist Kim White (left) and Health Promotions Officer Alexandra Bell.