HEALTH SERVICE: Gympie State High School student Sydney Noon spoke highly of the treatment she received from oral health therapist Shanae Barrett (left) and dental assistant Kylie Tutton.
HEALTH SERVICE: Gympie State High School student Sydney Noon spoke highly of the treatment she received from oral health therapist Shanae Barrett (left) and dental assistant Kylie Tutton. Arthur Gorrie

Sydney has one of the confident smiles at Gympie High

THERE was a time when the dental health of Gympie children was so bad it was part of the reason the authorities introduced compulsory fluoridation.

Teachers and visiting dentists were almost as deeply concerned as the student's teeth were deeply decayed.

But that is all changing now, according to the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service.

One of the service's five new vans will be based at Gympie State High School, probably for the next three months, as students line up for free and painless dental repairs.

Oral health therapist Shanae Barrett says new regulations and new university courses mean she can perform simple dental procedures, including drilling and filling and the use of local anaesthetic.

Previously the van had been based for a few weeks at Gympie East.

Director of oral health Elaine Mawdsley said the service aimed to give students free access to a dentist at least once a year.

She welcomed Ms Barrett, saying she had graduated from Central Queensland University's Bachelor of Oral Heath course, enabling her to perform more complex tasks when working with children.