Children in Victoria to receive free dental checks as mobile Smile Squad units tour the state

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Children in the Australian state of Victoria are set to receive free dental checks as part of a new initiative launched by the local government. 

Smile Squad mobile units will be visiting selected schools in the coming weeks, providing children with treatment in the playground. The service will reduce costs for families and enable children to undergo treatment on-site, which will prevent them from missing valuable classroom time. It is estimated that the scheme could save families up to $400 per child per year. 

Initially, the dental vans will be visiting a limited number of schools, but there are plans to roll the scheme out across the state by the start of 2023. The units will be providing a range of preventative and general dentistry services, including tooth fluoridation and sealant treatment, fillings, dental X-rays, routine check-ups, cleaning, extractions, and making moulds for mouth guards. 

As well as ensuring children don’t miss out on time in the classroom, the service will also benefit parents, who won’t have to worry about taking time off to get their child to a dentist. The new scheme will also reduce pressure on adult dental services, and some reports suggest that an additional 100,000 public dental places could be made available for adults. 

Jenny Mikakos, health minister, said that the programme is an investment in oral health, which should be a priority for families and the government. It can be tough for families to find the time and money to visit the dentist, and the Smile Squad vans will help to relieve schedule and financial pressures at the same time as boosting standards of dental health. 

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