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 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.
Smiles 4 Miles
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.
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.
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.
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.