Aboriginal Health Workers

Aboriginal Health Workers/Practitioners play an important role in promoting good health in their communities. The information below provides an overview of the programs and resources available to you to help improve the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

Oral health promotion programs

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles information

Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles is a Dental Health Services Victoria initiative aimed at improving the oral health of Victorian children aged 0–3 years and pregnant women. The program offers training packages and resources for Aboriginal Health Services and communities.

Learn more about Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles

Smiles 4 Miles

Smiles 4 Miles logo

Smiles 4 Miles is an oral health promotion initiative implemented in early childhood settings in partnership with local organisations.

DHSV is currently working with Aboriginal services to make the Smiles 4 Miles program more culturally appropriate. If you would like to know more, please contact the Smiles 4 Miles team.

Learn more about Smiles 4 Miles

Oral cancer screening and prevention

Oral cancer is on the rise in Victoria. Dental Health Services Victoria is leading a new program that supports oral health professionals to promote prevention and enable earlier detection.

Victorian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders are more likely to develop oral cancer than non-Aboriginal Victorians. To find out more about oral cancer screening and prevention or to get involved in the program, see the program page.

Learn more about the oral cancer screening and prevention program

Resources for you

Support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients

DHSV can support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander patients to navigate the dental health system.

Read more about how DHSV can support

Bigger Better Smiles for Aboriginal Health Services

Bigger Better Smiles is an oral health promotion education program for staff working in Aboriginal Health Services. The program was developed in partnership with Mallee District Aboriginal Service (MDAS). The program aims to build knowledge, skills and confidence to integrate oral health promotion across the service, focussing on workers who see families with young children and pregnant women.

For more information or to submit an expression of interest, contact the Healthy Families, Healthy Smiles Team.

The links between oral health and general health

Studies show that poor oral health is connected to major chronic diseases. This report released by Dental Health Services Victoria explains how dental health is linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, respiratory illnesses, stroke, dementia and adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Read more about the links between oral and general health

Resources for the community

Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People at the RDHM

Caring for teeth while pregnant

Keeping Teeth Healthy 0-5 years

Deadly Tooth Tips - tip sheet

Deadly Tooth Tips - 3x posters (A4)

Deadly Tooth Tips - Social Media Kit

Toothbrushing chart

Toothbrushing chart - colouring-in version

How to brush guide (includes denture care)

Caring for gums and teeth 0-6 years

How smoking affects your mouth

General dental health advice

Full DHSV resource library

Useful links

Better Health Channel

Raising Children Network

Australian Dental Association

The Cancer Council Victoria - oral cancer page

The Australian Dietary Guidelines and Infant Feeding Guidelines (2013)

Rethink Sugary Drink - find out how much sugar is in various drinks

Mob Smiles resources by Australian Dental Association