Victoria’s Biggest Little Smile search officially underway

The search for Victoria’s Biggest Little Smile is on as Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) and Zoos Victoria team up to fight oral disease in children.

The Biggest Little Smiles competition—launched by DHSV to coincide with Dental Health Week—encourages children to think creatively about three key messages: Eat well, Drink well and Clean well.

To enter, families are encouraged to send in photos of their children that encapsulate one of these key messages in a creative and engaging way.

DHSV CEO Dr Deborah Cole said the partnership between DHSV and Zoos Victoria—which is aligned to the hippopotamus enclosure at the Werribee Open Range Zoo as hippos require their teeth to be cleaned every day like humans—was about learning new ways to engage families to promote optimum oral health.

“In 2016-2017, half the number children presenting at our dental clinics had a history of tooth decay,” Dr Cole said.

“We hope that parents and children will recognise the importance of brushing their teeth and attending dental appointments regularly.

“A staggering 50 per cent of all Australian children usually drink one or more glasses of sugar sweetened drinks every day, and only two thirds of Australian children follow the recommendation of brushing teeth two times per day,” Dr Cole added.

“This competition is about encouraging children to develop healthy habits for healthy teeth from a young age.”

Werribee Open Range Zoo hippo keeper Ross Taylor said oral hygiene was an important part of the hippo’s daily routine.

“Like us, hippos need to take good care of their teeth so it is great that we can partner with Dental Health Services Victoria to share this message with our visitors,” Taylor said.

“We clean the hippo’s teeth every day and make sure they have a balanced diet to keep them fit and healthy.”

To enter the competition and be in the running for some great prizes including a one year Zoos Victoria family membership, visit the Biggest Little Smiles competition website. Entries close 31 October.

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