Sporting Smiles ‘An Integrated Approach to Oral Health Promotion’
The Australian Dental Health Foundation (ADHF) partnered with Dairy Australia, Sydney Thunder and Colgate-Palmolive to deliver health education sessions to primary-school children across Western Sydney, the Blue Mountains and Canberra.
Sporting Smiles aimed to educate Australian primary school children about the basic fundamentals of dental care and the importance of a healthy balanced diet. By linking the program with sports the ADHF was able to create a fun and interactive program that engaged with children, parents and teachers outside the dental setting and integrated oral health education through general health education.
Oral health education is an ongoing process throughout a child’s life. It is the basis for preventative care and, if taught correctly, can reduce the prevalence of dental diseases.
The primary objectives of Sporting Smiles were to:
- Enhanced the oral health knowledge among Australian primary school children
- Encourage healthier dietary choices
- Increase access to oral health education sessions that are age appropriate
- Enhance the integration of oral health education through general health education
Sporting Smiles aimed to reinforce the following fundamental oral health messages:
- Brush twice daily for two minutes
- Eat a healthy and balanced diet
- Drink plenty of tap water
The program was delivered between November 2014 and March 2015. Health education sessions were delivered to over 1,200 primary school children during this period.