Savannah Noulten, Willow Turnbull and Braxytn Mulcahy.

There were plenty of happy faces at Long Gully’s Havilah Road Preschool on Monday as Coliban Water’s support for the Smiles 4 Miles initiative started across the Greater Bendigo region.

This is the second year the company has promoted the consumption of tap water through the Choose Tap message in Smiles 4 Miles early childhood services, and the Drink Well message from Dental Health Services Victoria.

It aims to improve the oral health of preschool children and encourage good habits early in life.

It’s hoped this will provide the best chance of maintaining good oral health into adulthood.

Coliban’s Roslyn Wai said the company would be providing Choose Tap packs to 56 kindergartens and preschools in 2018 – up from 37 in 2017.

The program will be extended into Campaspe Shire for the first time, in addition to preschools in the Greater Bendigo region.

Students at Havilah Road preschool in Bendigo were the first to receive the packs.

“Our Choose Tap initiative promotes the benefits of drinking tap water as an alternative to sugary drinks and is a perfect fit with Smiles 4 Miles,” Ms Wai said.

The bottles and resources are provided free.

Havilah Road preschool teacher Gail Dwyer said they are both great initiatives to promote healthy living and improve the health of communities.

“The children have really enjoyed the chance to become ‘water heroes’ for the day, learn about the water cycle, water conservation and good oral hygiene,” she said.

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