Changing lives: one smile at a time!

Mrs Cathryn Carboon1

1Dental Hygienists Association of Australia, Wangaratta North, Australia

Abstract:

Who is the tooth fairy’s best friend and what is fluoride magic? Both of these questions can be answered when you combine oral health literacy with a social responsibility project which has been nominated to represent Australia at the International Federation of Dental Hygienists global Social Responsibility Program.  Poor oral health literacy is linked to a decrease in fluoride demand and usage across the world. The Carevan Foundation Sun Smiles program in partnership with the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia has  published a children’s picture book which provides an oral health literacy resource which is changing the lives of many disadvantaged Australian primary school children – one smile at a time! Low levels of health literacy is a significant problem in Australia. All allied health professionals should look at this model of delivering health information to see whether they could also have a positive impact on the health literacy of the nation.


Biography:

Cathryn Carboon is a dental hygienist with over 30 years’ experience and a Master of Health Promotion.  She was the oral health network co-ordinator on the SARRAH Advisory Committee for over a decade. Cathryn has been a member of the Dental Hygienists Association of Australia for 30 years, currently serving as the chair of the  Rural and Remote Health Special Interest Group.  Cathryn is a Carevan Foundation Board Member and manages the Carevan “Sun Smiles” school fluoride varnish program.  She works in private practice in rural Victoria and is a Colgate Professional Educator to undergraduate dentistry and oral health therapy programs at 5 Universities.  She is also a published children’s picture book author.