Toothbrushing Program

Strong Teeth for Kimberley Kids

Through the Strong Teeth for Kimberley Kids daily toothbrushing program, which began in 2010, KDT has supplied free toothbrushes and toothpaste to all 43 schools in the Kimberley. The program reaches approximately 4000 Kimberley children each year with each child receiving a new toothbrush each term.

KDT has also produced and distributed more than 40,000 Strong Teeth, Strong Body, Strong Mind booklets. The booklets, educational materials and toothbrush packs enable a comprehensive and ongoing toothbrushing program which has been embraced by all 43 Kimberley schools.

Furthermore, all adult patients seen by KDT are provided with free toothbrushes and toothpaste to support their household as well as receiving verbal and written instruction on oral health. Free toothbrushes and toothpaste are also provided to local communities and Indigenous groups in the Kimberley region.

The evidence supporting the toothbrushing program is exemplified through Balgo School where 78% of children screened in 2011 had gross caries in need or urgent treatment. Follow-up screening in 2014 showed the rate had reduced to 35% with children’s toothbrushing scores greatly improved.

" We would like to thank all our partners and sponsors who have assist our toothbrushing program, including the Health Schools Program which delivered toothbrush packs in the Kimberley, Rotary which has donated toothpaste, Rotaract which helps with assembling the toothbrush packs, and Wm Wrigley Jr Company Foundation which has assisted with funding."

Strong Teeth for Kimberley Kids, My Experience by Trish Pepper
(formerly Healthy Schools Officer, Kimberley Population Health Unit, Broome – now a KDT staff member)

"Since embarking upon the daily toothbrushing project in schools in 2010, there’s been a strong aroma of mint toothpaste throughout our office, with boxes of paste toothbrushes cluttering the hallways.

The success of the program is evident when Principals of schools across the region report children brushing their teeth outside the classrooms first thing every morning.

Teachers, Aboriginal Aids and the children themselves know brushing makes a difference.

According to John Owen, co-founder of Kimberley Dental Team, that difference is remarkable, “I can see the improvement in the mouths of the students in schools where brushing is part of their daily routine” he said.

I have had the joy of travelling to the most remote and disadvantaged schools to deliver tooth brushes and see for myself the way in which they embrace the program. The children love Aunty Roo who travels great distances to bring oral health messages to the children.

With the support of Jan and John Owen, the KDT and other organisations we are able to support schools in the program and deliver enough toothpaste and toothbrushes for the kids to continue to brush their teeth all year."

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