Smiles 4 Miles: Improving oral health in early childhood
This Preschool Oral Health Project is a Moreland wide program targeting all pre-school aged children in participating kindergartens and childcare centres. The objectives of the project are:
Increase in the number of early childhood services with active oral health and nutrition policy
Improvement in water/ fruit & vegetable consumption by preschool students
Inclusion of oral health in curriculum
Improvement in linkages and information sharing between MCHS and early childhood services
Increase in healthy eating and oral health behaviours at home
Improved awareness of the link between oral health and nutrition by families
Smiles 4 Miles resources (drink bottles, lunch bags, toothbrushes) are distributed to children in participating services to promote the campaign’s key messages - ‘Eat Well, Drink Well, Clean Well’. A resource kit and resources such as tip sheets are also available for staff to borrow. In addition, training and skill development with peer leaders is conducted to enable them to develop an oral health promoting preschool environment. Early Childhood settings become Smiles 4 Miles awarded when they meet criteria in their curriculum and nutrition policy development, lunch box auditing and parent engagement.
Funding for the project mainly comes from Dental Health Services Victoria.
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