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All Smiles at the Zoo

8 August 2017

When it comes to smiles, they don't come much bigger than the hippos at Werribee Open Range Zoo.

That's why Zoos Victoria and Dental Health Services Victoria have teamed up together to encourage visitors to develop healthy habits for healthy teeth - just like the hippos.

Every day, the keepers at Werribee Open Range Zoo take the hippos through a comprehensive oral hygiene program to ensure they maintain healthy gums and teeth.

This includes picking out grass seeds, hosing down their gums and ensuring they receive a balanced diet.

While hippos are herbivores, they have large incisors (which are commonly referred to as tusks) which they use to defend their territory and protect their young.

To promote the new partnership, Zoos Victoria and Dental Health Services Victoria have launched the Biggest Little Smiles competition to help fight oral disease in children.

The Biggest Little Smiles Competition encourages children to creatively think about three key messages:

  • Eat well
  • Drink­­­­­ well
  • Clean well

To enter, families are encouraged to send in photos of their children demonstrating any of the three key messages in a creative and engaging way. The launch coincides with Dental Health Week. To enter or find out more information, please visit