Wide smiles in Wyndham

Jason Hodge from IPC Health presents the Smiles 4 Miles award to Asha Kattar from The Manor Kindergarten in Werribee. (supplied) 405105_01

Staff at two Wyndham childcare centres are all smiles after winning an award for promoting healthy eating and dental care among children.

Goodstart Early Learning Centre Point Cook and The

Manor Kindergarten in Werribee have both been recognised in the Smiles 4 Miles Awards, an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) which aims to improve the

oral health of children and their families in high-risk areas across Victoria.

In Wyndham, 38 per cent of children in the age group 0 – 5 years and 70 per cent in the age group 6-8 years attending public dental services, have at least one decayed, missing or filled tooth.

Children with tooth decay and poor oral health can have trouble eating, sleeping, and paying attention at kindergarten / day care.

The Smiles 4 Miles program is implemented in Wyndham by IPC Health who presented both childcare centres with their awards this week.

Director of Goodstart Early Learning Centre Point Cook, Melissa Weerasekera, said she and her staff were extremely pleased to have been recognised and thanked IPC for their help.

“IPC Health has been a huge support for us to achieve this milestone, and we aim to continue with the fantastic program,” Ms Weerasekera said.

Asha Kattar from The Manor Kindergarten explained the sort of practices which led to their award.

“We speak to the children and their families about the key aspects of how to achieve a healthy smile. These include eating a well-balanced diet to give

our gums and teeth the nutrients they need, brushing twice a day for 2 minutes, drinking water and having regular dental check-ups,” Ms Kattar said.

“Smiles 4 Miles has been a fantastic program which has provided us with necessary resources, information, dental screening, and accessibility to emergency dental care when required by our children. We will continue to promote the key oral health messages of Drink Well, Eat Well and Clean Well in our service”.