Big Savings For Families As The Smile Squad Hits Wodonga

Students across north-east Victoria have brighter, healthier smiles thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s free dental care program for school kids.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes visited Melrose Primary School today, one of the first schools in Victoria to be visited by the Smile Squad.

Melrose Primary School and schools across Wodonga have begun receiving visits from the Smile Squad fleet, with oral health professionals providing free check-ups and treatment including teeth cleaning, fluoride applications, fillings and other non-cosmetic treatments to make sure our kids have healthy teeth.

When it comes to oral health, early prevention is the key. That’s why the program is so important – it stops emerging oral health issues in their tracks, keeping kids healthy and happy and dental bills down. The program also plays a big role helping avoid trips to the hospital emergency department.

The Labor Government promised free dental for all Victorian primary and secondary school students, and that’s exactly what we’ve delivered. The Victorian Budget 2019/20 includes $321.9 million to get the program up and running.

Schools in Wodonga, Box Hill, Cranbourne and Barwon South are the first locations to receive visits from the Smile Squad vans, before the entire program is rolled out across the state by 2022.

The Labor Government’s landmark free dental care program will drive down big dental costs for families, with bills expected to be slashed by $400 each year for each child. It will also free up more than 100,000 places for adults in the public dental system each year, reducing wait times.

Once fully rolled out, the fleet of Smile Squad vans will provide check-ups and dental treatment for about 650,000 school kids each year.

Quotes attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews

“We’re making sure Wodonga students have bright and healthy smiles – and we’re helping parents avoid the hefty costs.”

“As a parent, I know how important oral health is for kids, but families can sometimes struggle to get to the dentist. We’re fixing that.”

Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes

“It can be a real challenge getting your kids to look after their teeth – bringing dental treatments to the school gate is a great way to brighten the smiles of kids and their parents.”