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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Strong smiles program



The Strong smiles program is a 5-week oral health promotion program that is delivered in child care centres and preschools in northern New South Wales (NSW). It targets Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children 3-5 years.

The program aims to raise awareness of NSW's five key messages for a healthy mouth: eat well, drink well, clean well, play well and stay well. All sessions include a story linked to either nutrition or oral health, small-group games-based activities, healthy eating sessions and a song relating to the session theme. Health promotion staff from the Northern NSW Local Health District provide training, information, resources and ongoing support to participating child care centres and preschools.

Results from a 2012 evaluation of the program showed that Strong smiles has had a positive impact on oral health practices within the early childhood/preschool setting.


Laurel Rogers
Aboriginal Health Promotion Officer
Northern NSW Local Health District
Ph: (02) 6620 7590

Related publications

Facilitators handbook: Strong Smiles program (2010)

Rogers L, Hughes D, Austen K, Lloyd D, Binge T, McPhee L

Rogers L, Hughes D (2009)

The strong smiles program: healthier teeth for healthier children.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 33(6): 10-11

Evaluated publications

NSW Department of Health (2012)

The Strong Smiles oral health promotion program - phase 2 evaluation: sustaining the Strong Smiles program across selected North and Mid North Coast preschools.

Sydney: NSW Department of Health


Last updated: 6 July 2016
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