Smiles 4 Miles is an oral health promotion program for kindergarten-aged children developed by Dental Health Services Victoria and implemented in partnership with Inspiro Community Health Services throughout the Yarra Ranges, Valley and Hills.
Early Learning services achieve the Smiles 4 Miles award
Early Learning services achieve the Smiles 4 Miles award by implementing healthy eating, drinking and oral health policies, engaging with families about the importance of oral health and nutrition, and educating children through a variety of fun learning experiences based on the Smiles 4 Miles key messages – Drink well, Eat well and Clean well.
Toby Ware, Health Promotion Officer from Inspiro says the program is a great way to help children have healthy teeth and gums for life by establishing healthy eating, drinking and brushing norms.
Good habits are formed early
“Good habits are formed early. Children take lessons they learn at a young age with them, right up to adulthood. By promoting positive health behaviours early in life, we can decrease the likelihood of poor oral health and lifestyle related chronic disease,” Toby said.
Inspiro and DHSV held an award ceremony (photo below) to celebrate dental health week and the achievement of All Saints Kindergarten for being the first in the Yarra Ranges, Valley and Hills to be awarded for Smiles 4 Miles this year! Well done All Saints Kinder.
All Saints Kinder help their kids to eat healthy and drink healthy
All Saints Kinder have championed healthy eating and drinking, by collaborating with Inspiro since 2016 and now incorporate oral hygiene into their everyday practice. Under the leadership of Fiona Borchardt they understand and promote the importance of establishing healthy habits in young children, their families and the community, with the kindergarten being the perfect setting to positively influence large numbers of families.
Tooth decay is 5 times more prevalent than asthma among children and is the highest cause of preventable hospital admission in young children
There are alarming statistics in our community with almost 50% of our children and adolescents having tooth decay, often from over-consuming the many hidden sugars in our day to day foods, including many so called “health products,” and from consuming not so hidden sugars such as soft drinks. Tooth decay is 5 times more prevalent than asthma among children and is the highest cause of preventable hospital admission in children 10 years and under. Yarra Junction is a particular area of need, so it is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the great work Fiona and her team are doing at All Saints Kindergarten. Congratulations.
Remember these three steps to healthy teeth and gums
- Drink well- Drink tap water or plain milk and avoid sugary drinks like cordials, juices and soft drinks|
- Eat well- Eat a variety of nutritious foods each day and limit sugary foods, particularly between meals
- Clean well- Brush teeth twice daily, adults should help children until at least the age of 7.
For more details or if you know an Early Learning Service that would like to participate in the program, please contact:
Inspiro Health Promotion Officer