East Grampians Health service new dental initiative

Ararat - Happy Mouths Happy Kids is an exciting initiative of East Grampians Health Services that strives to improve and teach positive oral health messages to primary school aged children in the Ararat Rural City community.

"Our children, now more than ever, have every opportunity to keep their smile for life," East Grampians Health Service oral health project officer Anna Greene said.

"Through decay prevention and positive oral hygiene practices, we can educate them on how to keep their teeth stronger for longer, and in turn, enhance their overall health and wellbeing."

Mrs Greene said that evidence indicated most oral health problems in children can be prevented with oral health education, regular dental examinations and preventative procedures.

"I am pleased to announce we have a Memorandum of Understanding signed by each of the four Ararat primary school principals, committed to their involvement in the Happy Mouths Happy Kids' initiative and reiterating the importance of a program such as this," she said.

So far this year East Grampians Health Service dental initiative has been well supported by many generous donations from various Philanthropic Trusts and Foundations of $95,000 which include: $30,000 from The William Buckland Foundation, $30,000 from The Sidney Myer Fund, $30,000 from The Collier Charitable Fund/ The Lord Mayor Foundation, $5,000 from Pacific Hydro Sustainable Communities Fund.

Happy Mouths Happy Kids will provide students in grades three, four and five the opportunity to access a 12 month dental program at the East Grampians Health Service Dental Clinic (appointment scheduling, transportation of students to and from school and all associated dental costs are all taken care of) along with curriculum based health promotion activities, ensuring they understand the long term value of good oral and general health.

"Not only is it important to build the knowledge of positive oral and general health amongst primary school children, Happy Mouths Happy Kids will also be building positive relationships between the primary schools and EGHS, in particular the Community Centre's public dental and dietetic services," Mrs Greene said.

"In doing so, we close a gap, ensuring every Ararat child has easy and affordable access to a regular dental plan."

For more information please contact Anna Greene - oral health project officer (Wednesday and Thursday) East Grampians Health Service (03) 5352 9461 or email at anna.greene@eghs.net.au

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