Smile Squad has resumed a staged rollout across Victoria. When Smile Squad reaches your school’s local government area, you will be invited to participate. Your local Smile Squad dental agency will contact you directly.
DET encourages Victorian government schools to use the Smile Squad school dental program to provide oral health services to their students.
The Department of Education is working closely with the Department of Health and Human Services and Dental Health Services Victoria to develop practical guidance for schools to support the safe delivery of Smile Squad services, in line with the Return to School Operations Guide.
Schools being contacted by private mobile dental providers:
With schools returning to onsite learning, there have been reports that they are being contacted by other dental service providers who also deliver mobile dental services to schools. It is important to note that Smile Squad is the Victorian Government’s only free school dental program.
Any correspondence schools receive should have a Smile Squad logo on it like the one below.
For further details please see the Department of Education and Training’s Dental Services policy.
Frequently asked questions:
Smile Squad is the Victorian Government’s only fully-funded school dental program that offers free dental services (both examinations and follow-up treatment) to all Victorian government primary, secondary and special schools, including Virtual School Victoria.
Smile Squad is a new program that is being rolled out in stages across Victoria. When it reaches your area, your school will receive a letter from the Minister for Health and the Minister for Education and Training, inviting you to participate. Your local public dental agency will then contact your school directly.
If Smile Squad isn't coming to your school, or students need to see a dentist sooner, there are two ways students can access dental care. The below information is also on the Parents' FAQs page if you'd like to share with parents/carers.
Your child can get free or low-cost dental care at Victorian local public dental agencies if your child:
- lives in Victoria and
- is aged 0-12 years of age, or
- is aged between 13-17 years of age with a Health Care Card or Pension Card or is a dependant of a concession cardholder, or
- is a youth justice client in custodial care, regardless of age, or
- is a child or young person in out-of-home care provided by the Department of Families, Fairness and Housing, up to 18 years of age (including kinship and foster care), or
- is a refugee or asylum seeker, or
- is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, or
- is aged between 0-17 years of age and is eligible for the CDBS (see below).
For more information about eligibility for public dental services, see the Access public health services page on the health.vic website.
To find your nearest community dental clinic at Dental Health Services Victoria.
You can visit your regular dentist or find your nearest private dentist.
Eligible children may be able to get free dental care at a private dentist through the Australian Government's Child Dental Benefit Schedule (CDBS). The CDBS is an Australian Government program that provides up to $1,026 of Medicare-funded dental treatment over a two-year calendar period. Your child can use the CDBS at a private dentist or at a public dental clinic.
You do not need to register your child for the CDBS. Families and teenagers will receive a letter from the Department of Human Services if they are eligible. To be eligible for the CDBS, a child must be:
- aged between 0-17 years
- their family must receive Family Tax Benefit Part A or a relevant Australian Government payment.
You can find more information on the CDBS on the Dental Health Services Victoria and Services Australia websites. You can also check your child's eligibility and CDBS balance through your Medicare online account at MyGov, or by calling 132 011.
Note that you may have to pay if the treatment costs more than $1,026 over the two-year period, or for treatments not covered by the CDBS. Your dentist can tell you if your child's treatment will be covered by the CDBS.
All students attending government schools are eligible for free treatment. They do not need a healthcare card, Medicare or the Child Dental Benefits Scheme.
Students attending Virtual School Victoria are eligible as soon as Smile Squad reaches the local government area where they live. Virtual School Victoria students in those areas can contact their community dental agency to make an appointment. Use this link to find the nearest community dental clinic.
Smile Squad dental vans will visit your school. Each student who has received consent will be provided with a free annual dental health examination and any necessary follow up treatment. A local community dental agency will work with your school to deliver the program, aiming to minimise disruption for you and your students.
To save schools time and effort, DET and Department of Health have ensured that all Smile Squad services meet all legal and safety requirements. This means that your school:
- Does NOT have to enter into a licence agreement when Smile Squad visits your school.
- Does NOT have to check documentation regarding licences, registrations and insurance when Smile Squad visits your school.All Smile Squad staff have undertaken Working with Children checks, and meet all COVID-19 guidelines required by the Department of Health and DET, including vaccination of staff.
The Smile Squad will first visit your school to undertake oral health examinations and preventative care. After the 15 minute examination, students will receive a care plan.
If no further treatment is required, students will be seen in 12 months for their next dental examination. If a student requires follow-up treatment, an individual care plan will be sent home for parental/carer consent before treatment is provided.
Students 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.
Teachers do not need to attend appointments with their students. However, if parents or carers wish to, we can make an appointment time for them to attend with their child.
Smile Squad is free for all Victorian public school students. This program does not include cosmetic treatment.
If a student has dental pain, please contact their parent or carer who can contact their nearest dentist or community dental clinic for help. To locate their nearest clinic, they can use the Community dental clinics page or contact the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne on 03 9341 1000(Melbourne Metro) or 1800 833 039(outside Melbourne Metro) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes. Smile Squad has developed two brochures: Eat Well, Drink Well, Clean Well and an information brochure for parents. The brochures can be downloaded from this site are available in English as well as Arabic, Dari, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Turkish, Urdu and Vietnamese.
The Department of Health is responsible for delivering Smile Squad. We would love to hear what you think of Smile Squad, and how it can be improved to meet the needs of all Victorian students. We'd also like to know if you have any problems with the service. You can email us at email@example.com.