Oral health programs

Early childhood


Early childhood setting eatingTooth decay is largely preventable¹. However one in three children aged five and under who attended Victorian public dental clinics in 2010-2011 experienced tooth decay; 69 per cent of this was untreated³.

The deciduous (baby) teeth are important for young children. They help to develop appearance, eating ability, speech patterns and guide the eruption and position of the permanent (adult) teeth².

Early childhood education and care services such as kindergartens, playgroups and day care, play an important role in promoting young children's oral health.


Achievement program website thumb image

The Achievement Program

The Achievement Program is a Victorian Government initiative which aims to encourage healthier lifestyles and prevent disease linked to lifestyle.

External website icon Find out more about the Achievement Program in early childhood services


 Achievement program benchmarks

Healthy eating and oral health benchmarks

DHSV has supported the development of the healthy eating and oral health benchmarks for early childhood settings.

External website icon View the healthy eating and oral health benchmarks  

DHSV and The Centre for Excellence in Innovation and Prevention Science (CEIPS) have been working in partnership to ensure that the Achievement Program, Smiles 4 Miles and Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles programs are aligned.

Each program supports services to adopt a whole of service approach to improving the health and wellbeing of staff, children and their families. 

Achievement Program buttonThe Achievement Program: Early childhood education and care services.

Find out why your service should participate, what's involved and how to register External website icon



Smiles 4 MilesSmiles 4 Miles and the Achievement Program

Smiles 4 Miles supports eligible services to promote oral health in line with the healthy eating and oral health benchmarks of the Achievement Program.
link Find out more about Smiles 4 Miles


Healthy Families, Healthy SmilesHealthy Families, Healthy Smiles and the Achievement Program

Through Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles (HFHS), DHSV is supporting early childhood professionals to promote oral health in their services, providing training and tools to help them to achieve the healthy eating and oral health benchmarks.
link Find out more about Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles


Supporting resources

DHSV has a range of resources to help early childhood services learn more about oral health and assist them to meet the benchmarks.

link Go to the Educators - early childhood page


For more information, contact healthpromotion@dhsv.org.au




¹ Rogers J, 2011, Prevention and Population Health Branch, Department of Health (Victoria), Melbourne
² Dental Health Services Victoria, 2010, Oral Health Information for Maternal and Child Health Nurses, Dental Health Services Victoria, Melbourne
³ Dental Health Services Victoria, 2011, Data Analysis Unit, Data for children accessing care 2010-2011, Dental Health Services Victoria, Melbourne