|Community playgroups in Kerang, Cohuna and Murrabit have recently enjoyed a Baby Teeth Count Too! session to raise awareness of the important role baby teeth play in the health and development of children.
The session facilitated by Gannawarra Shire Council and Northern District Community Health is part of a Dental Health Services Victoria pilot program.
The initiative is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services.
Northern District Community Health Chief Executive Officer Mandy Hutchinson said that it is important to take care of a child’s first set of teeth.
“We know that baby teeth will be replaced by adult teeth in time but these little teeth play a crucial role in providing a child with a good start to life,” said Ms. Hutchinson.
“Baby teeth assist with chewing, speech and smiling. A healthy set of first teeth is more likely to lead on to a healthy set of adult teeth that last a lifetime.”
The Baby Teeth Count Too! program is a new initiative for Dental Health Services Victoria with the Gannawarra Shire chosen as a pilot site.
Council’s Director Community Wellbeing Stacy Williams said that Council was excited to be part of the pilot program that uses songs, stories and activities to educate parents and children about the importance of baby teeth.
“We are working with local health agencies to improve oral health outcomes, particularly for children,” said Mrs Williams. “Through the Baby Teeth Count Too! program, Northern District Community Health’s Health Promotion Officer provides education to parents and carers and Council’s library programs officer gets the children involved through reading simple stories about cleaning teeth and singing catchy songs related to dental care.”
“The children also participate in an activity to clean ‘germ critters’ off a laminated mouth template, all while singing a catchy little song where the children pretend to spit out toothpaste!”
“Tooth pain and decay at any stage of life can have a negative impact on health and wellbeing,” added Mrs Williams. “This is a fun way to engage children and their families in the importance of looking after their teeth through play and memorable stories and songs.”
For more information on dental health for children visitwww.dhsv.org.au.
Date: 10 August 2018
Contact: Communications Officer
Phone: 0409 616 627 between 8.30am and 5pm Monday to Friday.