There are a number of key resources available to plan and initiate promotion of oral health in Victoria. The focus of these plans and resources is on prevention and guiding effective strategies for oral health promotion across government, health, educational and community settings, and the workplace.
Context - the Government’s key priorities
The Victorian Government’s key priorities for the prevention of oral disease are to:
- build partnerships and environments that support good oral health
- improve oral health literacy
- strengthen prevention and early intervention programs
- improve oral health promotion skills within the workforce
- improve population data on oral health status and enhance oral health promotion research.
The goal of the Action Plan for Oral Health Promotion 2013–2017 is to improve the oral health of all Victorians, including those at higher risk. Emphasis is on partnerships to build a prevention and early intervention system to promote oral health.
Councils can make an impact on their residents’ oral health by helping to create environments that promote oral health. The Improving Oral Health: Local government action guide has been developed by the Department of Health & Human Services in partnership with Dental Health Services Victoria and in consultation with the Municipal Association of Victoria.
Oral health profiles
Oral health profiles have been developed to enable local government to become more involved in promoting oral health in the community.
These statistical profiles of each local government area include indicators that may have an impact on oral health, including smoking rates, consumption of fruit and vegetables, soft-drink consumption, toothbrushing frequency and breastfeeding rates.
Evidence-based oral health promotion
The Evidence-based Oral Health Promotion Resource 2011 describes oral diseases and their determinants, and indicates the most effective health promotion strategies for prevention.
The resource assists health professionals, policymakers, planners and health promotion practitioners to further promote oral health in Victoria.
Public health and wellbeing plan
The Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 requires the Minister for Health to prepare a State Public Health and Wellbeing Plan every four years from September 2011.
The Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015–2019 was released on 1 September 2015.
National oral health plan
Australia’s National Oral Health Plan 2014–2023 is due to be released in August 2015. The plan’s goal is to improve the overall health and wellbeing of Australians by improving oral health and reducing the burden of oral disease.