Strong Smiles – Phase 2

Click on the relevant reports, resources and publications for more information.

Program/Project Strong Smiles – Phase 2
Period/Length 5 weeks
Aim The program aims to promote and sustain positive oral hygiene practices within the early childhood/preschool setting; encourage the consumption of vegetables and fruit and discourage regular consumption of energy dense foods; and encourage the consumption of water and decrease the consumption of sugar sweetened drinks.
Year 2010-2011
Target Group Children 3-5 years old in the early childhood and preschool setting and is suitable for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children.
Reach 740 children
Locations North Coast Preschools and Early Childhood settings
Partners Participating Preschools and Early Childhood Centres
Full Report The Strong Smiles Oral Health Promotion Program – phase 2 evaluation: Sustaining the Strong Smiles program across selected North and Mid North Coast Preschools
Resources Strong Smiles Facilitators Handbook (2010)
More Information See below
Publications Rogers L, Hughes D. Strong Smiles Program: Healthier teeth for healthier children.Aboriginal Islander Health Worker Journal 2009; 30 (6): 10-11

What strategies were used?

  • The program uses resources such as readers, songs, games and role modelling to raise awareness of the 5 key NSW messages for a healthy mouth: Eat Well, Drink Well, Clean Well, Play Well and Stay Well
  • The program uses early childhood/preschool workers to run the program in their own centres.

What were the program outcomes?

Results from the evaluation demonstrate that overall, program strategies work well together to deliver key nutrition and oral health messages within the early childhood/preschool setting. The program appears to be well liked by the majority of Preschool staff and children who have been involved in the rollout. Early childhood/preschool workers have commented that it is a flexible and easy to use with the content delivered in a fun and interactive way. All these factors help sustain the program and it has been shown that the program has had a positive impact on oral health practices within the early childhood/preschool setting.

We found that within participating centres a full kit is not an essential component to program delivery. However, certain resources are necessary such as the tooth puppet, big toothbrush and books. Early childhood workers found it easy to use the manual and implement the program. This included one centre in which workers did not get any training and still implemented the program. The evaluation has identified a desire by preschools to establish stronger networks with local health district dental health clinics.