News

Reason to smile

By Holly Tregenza

MORE Ky kids will have their pearly whites shining thanks to the Smiles 4 Miles program and its expansion to the Kyabram Community Learning Centre (KCLC).

Smiles 4 Miles is an oral hygiene program funded by Dental Health Services Victoria.

With KCLC Early Learning jumping on board, a total of four services will now be participating in the Smiles 4 Miles program in town.

Emily Edgar, education coordinator from KCLC Early Learning, said it was an important program for kids.

‘‘It’s really all about instilling healthy habits that will be with these kids for life. Having healthy teeth can prevent so many other health issues in the long run, and when they are this little it is crucial to encourage great habits that they will take with them for the rest of their lives.

‘‘We have a dentist visit, we send home teeth hygiene goodies and we also help them learn through play. Whether that is simulating a dentist visit, or ‘cooking’ healthy food together, they don’t even realise they are learning but they take so much in,’’ she said.

The centre even has a teeth set, on which children can practise their best brushing and flossing techniques.

The aim of the program is to improve oral health by encouraging healthy eating, healthy drinking and good oral hygiene.

Unwin Street Preschool are long time Smiles 4 Miles participants; in 2019 they will have around 100 children ranging from 18 months to four years participating in the program, and over this time staff have developed strong partnerships with local dental services, such as Carolynne Coutts-Smith from Allen Street Dental in Kyabram.

This partnership has assisted in embedding oral hygiene into the early years curriculum and has educated children about how to look after their teeth.

Evidence shows that good oral health is essential to your overall health and wellbeing and is an important part of learning healthy habits early in life.