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All Smiles For New Partnership

20 March 2017

A new partnership focusing on better dental health for children has been launched between Zoos Victoria and Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV).

Launched on World Oral Health Day, the new initiative will see children and families engaged through preventative awareness programs where oral health is linked to learning through interaction.

Zoos Victoria CEO Dr Jenny Gray said: “It is terrific to be able to partner with Dental Health Services Victoria to engage our visitors about the importance of oral health not just for themselves, but also for our animals.

“Like humans, Hippos need to take great care of their teeth and our keepers’ brush their teeth and gums daily to help keep them clean and healthy.

“Through our partnership with DHSV, we hope to help make this task easier for parents by making children recognise and understand the importance of brushing their teeth regularly.”

DHSV CEO Dr Deborah Cole said with 1 in every 1000 children aged 0-4 years hospitalised for treatment of decay, a new approach was needed to tackle the growing epidemic of poor oral health.

“We are extremely proud of our early prevention programs such as Smiles 4 Miles, Healthy Families etc. but we need to do more and this new partnership will allow us to reach even more children across the state that need oral health care,” said Dr Cole.

The partnership between DHSV and the Werribee Open Range Zoo will be aligned to the Hippo enclosure as hippos require their teeth to be cleaned everyday like humans.