The spotlight on the oral health of Australian children has been given a healthy boost with the announcement by Premier Daniel Andrews for a $321.9 million school dental program to be delivered across Victoria to primary and secondary government school students.
The initiative has highlighted the critical importance of oral health for school children with recent data from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare confirming that one in four children aged five to 10 years have untreated tooth decay. Alarmingly, five out of 10 people avoided visiting the dentist altogether due to the expense or perceived expense of treatment.
The increased awareness has been warmly welcomed by Teeth on Wheels, Australia’s largest private mobile dental provider to over 200 schools and 200 childcare services.
“We are thrilled that the oral health of children has finally been given the recognition it deserves,” Teeth on Wheels founder and co-director Joseph Zeid said.
“We have worked tirelessly over the past four years to significantly improve the oral health and education of children while providing a positive dental experience to over 40,000 children.
“The Australian Government has provided eligible families across Australia with affordable dental care via the Child Dental Benefit Schedule and the added support of the Victorian State Government will further enhance the oral health of children which is fantastic news.”