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Smiles 4 Miles

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Smiles 4 Miles aims to improve the oral health of preschool aged children in Victoria.  

It is an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) which works in partnership with organisations including community health services and local councils to improve the oral health of the youngest children in the community.

The program is based on the World Health Organisation's Health Promoting Schools Framework and is delivered predominantly in kindergartens.

In 2013, Smiles 4 Miles reached over 28,000 children and their families across 484 early childhood education and care services around Victoria. Find out more about Smiles 4 Miles by clicking on the questions below.


 

Why participate in Smiles 4 Miles?

Oral diseases can cause pain and discomfort and negatively affect general health and quality of life [ii]. Alarmingly, 26.6% of Victorian children aged 5-12 years have had their teeth filled, 11.7% have had teeth removed and 7.1% have had dental treatment requiring a general anaesthetic in hospital [i]

Thomas, Damien, Billy, Angus and Takara
Children at Christopher Robin Preschool and their alfalfa heads.

 

 

By participating in Smiles 4 Miles your organisation and early childhood education and care services will play a part in improving the oral health of children in the community.

 

 

 

 

[i] Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, 2010, 'The state of Victoria's Children 2010', 
[ii] Rogers J, Prevention and Population Health Branch, Government of Victoria, Department of Health, 2011, Evidence based oral health promotion resource

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What are the key messages promoted through Smiles 4 Miles

There are three key messages promoted through the Smiles 4 Miles program:

 waterboy says drink well 

Drink well

  • Drink plenty of tap water
  • Limit sugary and fizzy drinks
  • Plain milk is preferred to flavoured

munchgirl says eat well

Eat well

  • Enjoy a variety of nutritious foods
  • Limit sugary foods, especially between meals
  • Choose fresh foods rather than processed foods

brushboy says clean well

Clean well

  • Brush twice a day with a low fluoride (children's) toothpaste
  • Parents should assist children to brush their teeth up to the ages of 7 years of age
  • Ensure children have regular dental check-ups

View more information on these oral health messages >>

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Are you a Victorian early childhood education and care service interested in Smiles 4 Miles?

Stevie, Oliver and Jordan
Drink well, Eat well and Clean well: Smiles 4 Miles is committed to improving children's health in Victoria.



 

The benefits are:

  • Participation assists services to meet the requirements of the National Quality Standard
  • Participation supports the progression of children's learning in the outcomes articulated in the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework
  • Participation in a program that has been developed from the latest evidence for improving children's oral health
  • Access to support and advice from health professionals experienced in children's health.
  • Ensuring your service is recognised as one that creates a healthy culture for children
  • Helping to establish healthy foundations at an early age helps to improve overall health and wellbeing
  • Implementation of a program that provides the opportunity to empower families and children to improve their oral health
  • Opportunities to have your service recognised in the local media
  • A Smiles 4 Miles award that demonstrates your commitment to improving children's health in your community.
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How can early childhood education and care services become involved in the Smiles 4 Miles award program?

Epping preschool
Carmel and Jordana from Epping Preschool and Lynda from Lalor East Preschool accepting their Smiles 4 Miles award.

Further information on the Smiles 4 Miles program is available in the icon program toolkit.

If you are interested in being involved, please complete the Smiles 4 Miles expression of interest form.


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Are you a Victorian organisation interested in improving the oral health of children in your area?

DHSV partners with and funds a range of local organisations such as local government, community health services and primary care partnerships to implement Smiles 4 Miles.

 Local organisations are responsible for engaging and supporting early childhood services to achieve their Smiles 4 Miles award.

The benefits to your organisation include:

  • Participation in a program which has been developed from the latest evidence for improving children's oral health
  • Access to training, support and advice from DHSV, Victoria's leading public dental agency
  • Your organisation demonstrates that it is committed to improving oral health
  • Opportunities for your organisation to feature in local media
  • Implementation of a program that provides the opportunity to empower both families and children to improve their oral health
  • Your services will receive a Smiles 4 Miles award (lasting for two years) which demonstrates your commitment to improving children's health in your community
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How can your organisation become involved in Smiles 4 Miles?

Priority is given to areas where children have a higher than average risk of developing oral disease. When considering where to fund the program, DHSV takes into account factors such as socioeconomic demographics, access to dental services and fluoridation status.

For more information, or if your organisation is interested in participating, please email the Smiles 4 Miles team or call (03) 9341 1196.