Information for parents

The Smile Squad school dental program has been on hold for most of 2020 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. On 28 September, the Victorian Chief Health Officer advised that dental services could resume across Victoria.

From Term 4, Smile Squad services will be progressively restarting in schools across the areas of Greater Bendigo, Latrobe and Wodonga, working towards a broader rollout across the state from Term 1, 2021.

Smile Squad is the Victorian Government’s only school dental program, offering free end-to-end care from initial examinations to all treatment, excluding cosmetics. The Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with the Department of Education and Training and Dental Health Services Victoria to ensure Smile Squad can be delivered safely to primary, secondary and specialist government schools.

If you have a dental emergency or require oral health advice, please contact the Royal Dental Hospital Melbourne on 9341 1000 (outside Melbourne metro call: 1800 833 039) or use the online community dental clinics search for a list of dental clinics in your area. You may also visit www.dhsv.org.au if you require any further information.

We urge all Victorian children and their families to maintain their oral health by eating well, drinking tap water, and brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste.

Resources

More information is available in the Eat Well, Drink Well, Clean Well and Information for Parents brochures on the resources page.

Frequently asked questions:

What is Smile Squad?

Smile Squad is a $321.9 million Victorian Government program which provides free dental care to all Victorian public primary and secondary school students. 

The friendly Smile Squad dental team will visit schools to conduct a free annual dental health examination and provide free follow up treatment as needed.

Who is eligible?

All students attending public primary, secondary or special schools in Victoria are eligible, with or without a healthcare card.

How can my child be seen?

Parents or carers will be asked to provide consent for their child to receive the health examination, and prior to any treatment required. Information about the program and consent forms will be distributed through your child’s school.

What will the Smile Squad do?

The Smile Squad will first visit your child’s school to undertake dental health examinations and preventative care. After the 15 minute examination your child will receive a care plan.  

If no further treatment is required, your child will be seen in 12 months for their next dental examination. 

If your child requires follow-up treatment, an individual care plan will be sent home for your consent before treatment is provided. 

Children will also be provided with a free dental pack and education on teeth brushing and healthy eating.

More information on the services provided can be found on the general information page of this site.

Do I need to attend with my child?

You do not need to attend with your child. However, if you wish to, we can make an appointment time for you to attend together.

What does it cost?

Smile Squad is free for all Victorian public school students.  
This program does not include orthodontic or cosmetic treatment.

What if my child has urgent needs/dental pain?

If your child has dental pain, please contact your nearest dentist or community dental clinic for help. To locate your nearest clinic, use Dental Health Services Victoria's Community Dental Clinic Locator or contact the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne

My child goes to a non-government school. Are they eligible?

Currently no. The program is in early development and will roll out progressively over the next few years. In 2021, the Government will review the program with a view to expanding it to low fee Catholic and low fee independent schools.

My child goes to kindergarten. Are they eligible?

Children in kindergartens are not eligible for this service. To see what services are currently available, please go to the DHSV website for information regarding dental care for kids.