Taking on decay

MESSAGE: Jacinta Lenehan (back) with Warrnambool Central Kindergarten children Sierrah Greene, Ellee McKenzie, Remy Roberts and Ruby Kenwright.

MESSAGE: Jacinta Lenehan (back) with Warrnambool Central Kindergarten children Sierrah Greene, Ellee McKenzie, Remy Roberts and Ruby Kenwright.

DENTAL Health Week is being used to continue the fight against high rates of tooth decay in the south-west.

Figures released by South West Healthcare (SWH) show 54 per cent of children attending its dental services have received treatment for decayed teeth. Rates in other areas include Camperdown (28), Hamilton (46) and Portland (42).

SWH health promotion officer Jacinta Lenehan has been working with early childhood services to deliver the Smiles 4 Miles education program

Ms Lenehan said the program’s theme for Dental Health Week, which runs from August 7-13, is ‘Oral Health for Busy Lives’.

“Sometimes life gets really busy,” Ms Lenehan said.

“But this year’s Dental Health Week theme is a good reminder that good oral health is essential to our overall health and wellbeing, and that good habits need to start early in life.

“That’s why we’re teaching local children and their families, and the staff who run kinders, long day care and family day care centres, the importance of oral health.

“This includes brushing your teeth twice a day and visiting the dentist regularly before a problem occurs.” 

The Smiles 4 Miles program reach is increasing with the number of children participating up by 100 from 2016. Across Warrnambool, Moyne and Camperdown, 1677 pre-school age children are taking part in the program with a further 651 from Southern Grampians and Glenelg shires.

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