On this page:
- Victorian Public Dental Services
- Oral Health Promotion in Victoria
- Promoting Oral Health for People with a Disability
- Smiles 4 Miles Award Program
- Dental Health Advice for All Ages
- Healthy Families Healthy Smiles
- Local Government Planning for Oral Health Promotion
- Smoke-free Smiles
- Health Promoting Practices
- Oral Health Promotion Videos and Podcasts
The Victoria Public Dental System provides eligible residents of the state with general and emergency dental care through various government clinics and hospitals in the state.
The oral health promotion section of the Department of Health and Human Services website provides a gateway to oral health promotion activities in Victoria. Good oral health is important for general health and wellbeing and the impact of oral disease places a considerable burden on individuals, families and the community. Most oral diseases are preventable. The Victorian Government recognises the importance of good oral health and the need to focus on maximising prevention by promoting oral health to all Victorians.
Dental Health Services Victoria has partnered with the disability sector to improve the oral health of people with a disability living in Victoria.
Several projects have been implemented in partnership with the state government and community service organisations to improve the capacity of both the disability workforce, and people with a disability, in oral health promoting practices. Early projects focused on improving oral health practices within disability accommodation services and pension-level supported residential services.
More recently Dental Health Services Victoria has partnered with organisations providing day programs for people with a disability. Funded through the Department of Health and Human Services, in 2013-14 small grants were provided to day services seeking to develop innovative ways to promote good oral health for people with a disability such as:
- Developing edible gardens
- Installing chillers on water taps
- Supplying participants with refillable water bottles
- Providing oral health training to day service staff
- Developing oral health referral pathways
Dental Health Services Victoria has also developed a range of easy read and visual resources to support the capacity building achieved through past projects.
In 2014-15 DHSV, in partnership with community service organisation Karingal, produced ‘Sally goes to the dentist’, a short film to help people with a disability to prepare for positive dental visits.
Further information on these projects and the full range of resources can be found at Promoting oral health within disability services.
Dental Health Services Victoria partners with local organisations and early childhood services such as kindergartens and day care centres to implement Smiles 4 Miles.In 2015, Smiles 4 Miles reached 25,000 children and their families across 485 early childhood services around Victoria.
How does Smiles 4 Miles work?
Smiles 4 Miles aims to create environments that support and promote the oral health of young children. Smiles 4 Miles is an award program that encourages healthy eating, healthy drinking and good oral hygiene practices for children and their families by using three key messages – Drink well, Eat well and Clean well.
The program also encourages early childhood services to provide information to families on local dental services to build a positive association with dental visits for both children and families.
What does Smiles 4 Miles offer?
- Smiles 4 Miles is managed by Dental Health Services Victoria, Victoria’s leading public dental agency and supported locally – health and community professionals based in local areas help early childhood services to implement the program
- Free professional development training for early childhood professionals and refresher training for services that have already been trained - to enhance the oral health knowledge and skills of educators
- The program can help early childhood services meet the requirements of the National Quality Standard and related documents
- Practical resources to implement the program - such as the Smiles 4 Miles program toolkit, policy templates, curriculum ideas, and more
- Fact sheets and newsletter inserts to share with families - practical tips and ideas to promote good oral health behaviours, healthy eating, and information on local dental services
- Receive a Smiles 4 Miles award – recognition as a service that creates a healthy environment for children.
Dental Health Services Victoria has developed a series of top ten tips for oral health. The top ten tips are located on the DHSV website and are age appropriate based on the National oral health messages for the Australian public. The DHSV website also has fact sheets, how to brush guides and other resources.
Healthy Families Healthy Smiles aims to improve the oral health of Victorian children aged 0-3 years and pregnant women through building capacity of health and early childhood professionals to promote oral health in their everyday practice.
The program engages with a diverse range of sectors and disciplines including: midwives (working in antenatal care), maternal and child health nurses, early childhood professionals, general practitioners, practice nurses, Aboriginal health workers, dietitians and pharmacists.
The program offers oral health professional development activities as well as tools and resources to support professionals to provide oral health advice, screening (where appropriate) and referral. The program also works to influence policy and systems to support this.
The Victorian Government Department of Health and Human Services funds DHSV to deliver this program.
Dental Health Services Victoria in partnership with the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services has developed oral health profiles for local government to become more involved in promoting oral health in the community. The oral health profiles can be accessed by visiting the Oral Health Profiles on the Dental Health Services Victoria website.
Improving oral health – Local government action guide has also been developed in a partnership between Dental Health Services Victoria and the Department of Health and Human Services to help local governments improve oral health. This guide outlines a range of evidence-informed actions that councils can consider when preparing their Municipal Public Health and Wellbeing Plans, Municipal Early Years Plans and other strategies.
Smokefree Smiles aims to train and support oral health professionals and support staff to provide smoking cessation services, and ultimately contribute to decreasing smoking rates in Victoria. By providing a framework, along with training and support, the Smokefree Smiles pilot project aims to support brief smoking cessation interventions and referrals to the Quitline by oral health professionals, and ultimately contribute to decreasing smoking rates in Victoria.
Quit Victoria have worked with oral health professionals to develop a model that helps integrate smoking cessation in the oral health setting. The short conversation to quitting success is Ask, Advise and Help, or ‘Just Say AAH’. The components of the training include a two-hour face-to-face session and half hour online module developed specifically for oral health professionals.
Smokefree Smiles is funded by the Victorian Department of Health & Human Services and is a partnership between Quit Victoria (lead agency), Dental Health Services Victoria, the Department of Health and the Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch Inc.
The Health Promoting Practices (HPP) project involves the development of a formal framework to support health professionals in promoting healthy lifestyle messages with their patients. While many health professionals are already undertaking the activities within the HPP model, the project provides recognition of their efforts, whist encouraging patients to take control of their own health. Through the HPP framework, four healthy lifestyle key messages are promoted: to engage in healthy eating, physical activity, limit alcohol consumption and quit smoking.
Dental and physiotherapy practices have been chosen as the initial sites for the project as they offer unique opportunities for health promotion. Oral health and movement/function are being increasingly related to general health and wellbeing. Dental and physiotherapy professionals are playing an increasingly important role in providing health information on all aspects of health.
Health Promoting Practices is funded by the Department of Health and is a partnership between Australian Dental Association Victorian Branch (lead agency), Dental Health Services Victoria, the Australian Physiotherapy Association Victorian Branch and the Department of Health and Human Services
Dental Health Services Victoria have developed a variety of video and podcast resources to promote oral health.