Oral health programs

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles


About Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles, established in 2012, aims to improve the oral health of Victorian children aged 0-3 years and pregnant women by building capacity of health and early childhood professionals to promote oral health.

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles has a range of training and professional development packages and resources for professionals working with young families to support better oral health. Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles works with

  • Midwives involved in antenatal health care
  • Maternal and Child Health nurses
  • Early childhood professionals including child care educators, supported playgroup facilitators and family support workers
  • Early Parenting Centre professionals
  • Aboriginal health services
  • General practitioners, practice nurses and refugee health nurses
  • Dietitians and other allied health professionals
  • Pharmacists
  • Tertiary education providers (university courses or disciplines working with pregnant women and children aged 0-3 years)

For more information about how you can promote oral health in your work visit our Professionals section www.dhsv.org.au/professionals.

The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services funds DHSV to deliver the Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles initiative.

Current initiatives

Click to learn about midwife trainingOnline oral health training for Midwives 

The Midwifery Initiated Oral Health (MIOH) Education Program is a research based training package developed by the Centre of Oral Health Research and Translation (COHORT) and its partner, the Australian College of Midwives (ACM). MIOH is particularly for midwives involved in antenatal care as it aims to increase the midwife’s knowledge and confidence to include oral health promotion in the first booking visit.

Victorian midwives working in antenatal care can click on the button to express interest in applying for DHSV’s sponsorship to undertake this course which is available through the ACM eLearning portal.

Register for the Oral Health resource kit

Healthy Little Smiles in early childhood services

The Healthy Little Smiles education program consists of an oral health promotion resource kit and a two-hour workshop for early childhood educators. The program supports long day care, family day care and kindergartens to engage children and families about oral health and embed oral health promotion within their services.

Please register to access the Good habits for healthy teeth - resources for children and families

Bigger Better Smiles for Aboriginal Health Services

Bigger better smiles illustration

Bigger Better Smiles is an oral health promotion education program for staff working in Aboriginal Health Services. The program was developed in partnership with Mallee District Aboriginal Service (MDAS). The program aims to build knowledge, skills and confidence to integrate oral health promotion across the service, focussing on workers who see families with young children and pregnant women.

For more information or to submit an expression of interest, Aboriginal Health Services can contact the Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Team.

Illustrations by Shakara Montalto (Gunditjmara)

Baby Teeth Count Too! Oral health information for playgroups

This flipchart resource is an educational tool developed especially for supported playgroups. There are 13 key messages about good oral health in the flipchart as well as dental services information and other useful links. The flipchart can be used to start discussions with families about oral health. The package includes a flipchart and a user's guide and is supported by a training session to build confidence, knowledge and skills to promote oral health in the supported playgroup setting.

Click here to access the Good habits for healthy teeth - resources for children and families

Supporting dietitians to include oral health in their work

Diet is a key factor in oral health so Dental Health Services Victoria continues to partner with Dietitians Australia to revise a national position statement on oral health and nutrition.  The focus will be on how dietitians and oral health professionals can collaborate to improve the oral health status of populations across the life span.

Tooth packs

Tooth packs for healthy brushing habits – Supported by Colgate’s Mrs Marsh Oral Health Education Fund

Tooth packs are being supplied to the Maternal and Child Health Services at Brimbank, Dandenong, Gippsland Lakes, Orbost, Robinvale and Swan Hill.


Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Newsletters


Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Summary Evaluation Report 2012-2015

The evaluation of the program is supported by DHSV’s Centre for Applied Oral Health Research.  A summary of the evaluation findings for the 2012-2015 funding period is available here:

Contact the Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Team for more information.


Natalia Okelo 
Health Promotion Lead Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles
P: 93411313
E: Natalia.Okelo@dhsv.org.au

Gillian Lang
Health Promotion Project Officer
P: 9341 1162
E: gillian.lang@dhsv.org.au

Robyn Alexander
Health Promotion Project Officer
P: 9341 1196
E: robyn.alexander@dhsv.org.au

Elsa Mangan
Health Promotion Officer 
P: 9341 1323
E: elsa.mangan@dhsv.org.au