Key messages

  • Develop partnerships and environments to strengthen oral health promotion in key settings.
  • Improve the oral health knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviours of all Victorians.
  • Continue to implement programs and develop innovative approaches to prevent oral disease.
  • Build capacity of oral health, community and education workforce to improve oral health promotion.
  • Improve population data on oral health status to evaluate the effectiveness of health promotion interventions.

There is a wide range of public and private organisations that promote oral health in Victoria. The Department of Health & Human Services supports comprehensive oral health promotion programs across various health settings at local, regional and statewide levels.

The success of oral health promotion programs relies on partnerships with a wide group of professional organisations such as Dental Health Services Victoria, and community health services such as Quit Victoria.

Other organisations or groups include dental practices, local governments, the dental industry and the educational and welfare sectors.

Current programs

Statewide oral health promotion initiatives that are currently underway include:

Community water fluoridation

Community water fluoridation is the most effective population-wide intervention to prevent tooth decay. Ninety per cent of Victorians have access to water with either naturally occurring or added fluoride.

Smiles 4 Miles

The Smiles 4 Miles initiative aims to influence practices of preschool-aged children and their families through a settings-based approach. The department funds Dental Health Services Victoria to manage this program.

Healthy Families Healthy Smiles

Healthy Families Healthy Smiles improves the oral health of Victorian children aged 0–3 years and pregnant women. The focus is on building the capacity of health and early childhood professionals to promote oral health. The department funds Dental Health Services Victoria to manage this program.

Achievement program

The Achievement program is part of Healthy Together Victoria, a statewide prevention initiative that includes oral health, along with healthy eating, as a priority for promoting health across early childhood services, schools and workplaces in Victoria.

Health Promoting Practices

Health Promoting Practices is a pilot project providing a framework through which health practices can better promote the benefits of healthy eating, physical activity and refraining from alcohol and smoking. The department funds the Victorian branch of the Australian Dental Association to manage the project, which is piloted in partnership with the Victorian branch of the Australian Physiotherapy Association and Dental Health Services Victoria. The pilot is currently implemented within selected dental and physiotherapy practices.

Smokefree Smiles

Smokefree Smiles trains oral health professionals and support staff to conduct short smoking cessation interventions and to develop tools and systems required to support these interventions in public and private dental settings. The department funds Quit Victoria to manage the project, which is piloted in partnership with the Victorian Branch of the Australian Dental Association and Dental Health Services Victoria.

Contact details