ADA Mob Smiles resource on World Oral health Day

For the last three years, the FDI World Dental Federation has used World Oral Health Day on 20 March to campaign for everyone around the world to ‘Be Proud of Your Mouth’.

However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults continue to have poorer oral health than non-Indigenous Australians. Due to the poorer oral health outcomes of First Nation peoples, the ADA embarked on the development of the culturally appropriate oral health education resources. This World Oral Health Day, the ADA was pleased to launch these resources as part of our new Mob Smiles initiative.

Indigenous dental practitioners have mentioned that the available resources for use with children and adults in Australia do not resonate with this target population. The goal of the Mob Smiles resources is to develop oral health education kits purposely developed for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and adults. Poor oral health can affect individual quality of life and exacerbate chronic health conditions. Unfortunately access to affordable, and culturally appropriate dental care is difficult for many Indigenous Australians. The resources aim to provide education and oral health information in a culturally safe manner.

The suite of oral health resources consists of posters, flyers and factsheets for various ages including toddlers, teenagers, pregnant women and the elderly. The multiple resources provide education in caring for oral health and details on hygiene, diet and scheduling dental visits.

The Mob Smiles Artwork


The Mob Smiles initiative began with an artwork commissioned by the ADA in 2021. The artwork was developed by Ty Waigana, a professional illustrator and animator with a Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University. Ty is a proud Noongar and Saibaigal (Torres Strait) man. Ty is the NAIDOC poster artist for 2020 and is currently exhibiting at the Art Gallery of Western Australia.

The four misshapen orbs highlighted in white resemble front teeth and symbolise the four themes integral to the work of the ADA.

The four themes include:

– Having a healthy and happy smile

– Achieving a healthy and happy smile through a holistic health approach

– Activities to achieve holistic health including eating healthy, happiness, a healthy lifestyle, drinking water

– Community health which contributes to an individual’s overall health

The four orbs overlap and meet symbolising community and a holistic connection to health.

The Mob Smiles Resources

The development of the Mob Smiles resources took place over 2022 and was led by Ms Kirrily Phillips, a proud Gumbaynggirr woman, and oral health therapist. The name, logo, and areas of focus for the suite of resources were created in collaboration with an all-Indigenous expert advisory group including dental and non-dental practitioners.

The Mob Smiles logo incorporates both the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags. We would like to acknowledge the designer of the Torres Strait Islander flag, the late Mr Bernard Namok. Permission to use the Torres Strait Islander flag was received from the Torres Strait Island Regional Council.

The resources were put forward to consumer input of Indigenous and non-Indigenous backgrounds. Following attainment of culturally safe and resonating reviews, the final resources have been made available at


The graphic design work is by Ms Gaala Watson from Humanize Media and photographs by Ms Meleika Gesa.

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