Oral health programs

Smiles 4 Miles

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Smiles 4 Miles logo

Smiles 4 Miles is an initiative of Dental Health Services Victoria (DHSV) which works in partnership with organisations to improve the oral health of children, their families, early childhood staff and the wider community.

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

In 2014, Smiles 4 Miles reached over 31,000 children and their families across 563 early childhood education and care services around Victoria.

Thomas, Damien, Billy, Angus and Takara

Find out more about Smiles 4 Miles by clicking on the questions below:

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What are the award criteria for Smiles 4 Miles?

The Smiles 4 Miles award criteria

  1. An early childhood survey is completed.
  2. Educators have participated in a Smiles 4 Miles training session.
  3. A healthy eating and oral health policy has been developed or reviewed.
  4. The effectiveness of the Drink well, Eat well key messages have been reviewed.
  5. Learning experiences have been conducted around the key messages: Drink well, Eat well and Clean well and evidence provided.
  6. Strategies for family engagement have been implemented around the key messages: Drink well, Eat well, and Clean well and evidence provided.
  7. Information regarding dental services and healthy eating initiatives available to children has been provided to families.
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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

  • Tap water is the preferred drink
  • Limit sugary drinks (especially between meals) 
  • Choose plain milk over flavoured

munchgirl says eat well

Eat well

  • Enjoy a wide variety of nutritious foods every day from the five food groups
  • Limit foods containing added sugars
  • Healthy meals and snacks are important for healthy teeth

brushboy says clean well

Clean well

  • Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day
  • Children should use a low-fluoride children's toothpaste from 18 months until they turn six
  • Don't wait for a problem. A child should see a health professional (Maternal and Child Health Nurse, Dentist, Oral Health Therapist, Dental Therapist or General Practitioner) byt the age of two for an oral health check 
  • An oral health professional will dicuss a child's risk level and how frequently they need to visit for an oral health check

View more information on these oral health messages >>

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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:

Stevie, Oliver and Jordan

  • 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

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.

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Oral health resources for educators

Find oral health resources to support you >>

Smiles 4 Miles 10th birthday celebration booklet

Smiles 4 Miles 10th birthday celebration booklet