School kids get first-ever dental care with Smile Squad

Smile squad small image2

Published August 07 2023

Merri Health’s Smile Squad has celebrated a year of delivering free dental care to students in Melbourne’s North, including many who had not visited a dentist before.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many children were not able to access dental appointments due to restrictions, resulting in children going without treatment and having an increased risk of escalated dental problems.

Since launching in April 2022, Merri Health’s Smile Squad has brought healthzy smiles to a high number of children who have not received any sort of dental care previously.

This included 28 per cent of children who signed up for Smile Squad services at Coburg North Primary School, who needed care for more significant dental issues.

At Glenroy Central Primary School where over 70 percent of students signed up to receive Smile Squad care 36 percent needed treatments for dental decay, requiring multiple sessions.

Merri Health CEO Tassia Michaleas said, “We’re proud to celebrate a year of bringing kids the dental care they deserve and need through Smile Squad. Early treatment and education that helps kids care for their teeth sets them up for lifelong better oral health.”

Smile Squad is led by Dental Health Services Victoria and delivered by community dental agencies across the state.

All state primary and secondary schools in Moreland have access to Smile Squad – all they have to do is sign up.