A Whakatāne early childhood centre has been flashing its pearly whites after taking first place in an annual oral health challenge.

Early childhood education centres across the Eastern Bay were invited to take part in the Bay of Plenty District Health Board's annual World Oral Health Day Challenge.

Whakatāne's Little Moments Homebased Childcare came out on top, with the new businesses' owner Yvonne Porter saying they were "really excited" about the win.

The centre in Whakatāne boasts a 55-strong roll.


"Eating healthy food and connecting with the natural world is part of our philosophy and vision, so good oral health fits in with that and who we are," she said.

Healthy lunch alternatives, planting fruit trees and promoting water to drink were all part of the initiatives the centre took.

"We had previously won the model of a big plastic mouth, so we also use that to help educate the children, when it comes to brushing their teeth. We visit a retirement home with the children and the elderly people there had a blast talking teeth with them.

"One of our grandmothers is a retired dental nurse, she came in for an extended mat time with the children, teaching them all about caring for your teeth. It was great having her with us."

Prizes for the winners included a big box of fruit and vegetables, water bottles, toothbrushes, toothpaste, certificates and laminated activities books.

Full results:

Winners Little Moments Homebased Childcare

2nd place Little Orchard Pre-school – Pohutukawa Room


3rd place Bizzy Buddyz Homebased Childcare and Education Services