Announcing the 2024 Healthier Smiles Community Grants

Smiling Indigenous woman holding a smiling young child
Australian Dental Association
2 April 2024
7 min read
Grants and awards

Would you like to make a difference to the oral health of disadvantaged Australians? 

If you’re an ADA member dentist and dental student with a passion for improving the oral health outcomes of disadvantaged groups throughout Australia, you can apply from Thursday 18 April (applications close Thursday 14 June) for US$82,000 (approx. AU$121,386*) in funding. 

The Healthier Smiles Community Service Grants (the Grants), a joint initiative of the Australian Dental Health Foundation and Mars Wrigley Foundation, provide recipients with the funds to implement oral health community service, education, and preventative care in some of the highest risk and most in-need communities across Australia. 

With more than US$1M (approx. AU$1.52 million*) already invested over a decade in oral health screening, treatment and education, the Grants are offering 10 x US$8,200 grants (approx. AU$12,528*) this year for registered ADA member dentists or students. 

The Grants have three main aims: 

- To enable the delivery of oral health programs that provide sustained benefits – screening, treatment and education – for disadvantaged groups throughout Australia; 

- To promote the work the dental community is doing to address oral health inequities faced by disadvantaged members of the Australian community; and 

- To ensure Australia’s oral health outcomes continue to improve through improved access, delivery and education. 

Dandelions WA Inc. initiative 

Through this organisation's Back to School – 2024 initiative, primary and high school-aged children in need throughout Western Australia, many of whom live in rural and remote areas and who have limited access to items needed for their health and education, are provided with a school backpack filled with their complete stationery requirements, lunchbox, water bottle, library bag and sundry items. The grant ensures that Dandelions WA Inc. is able to include a “dental hygiene kit” (toothbrush and toothpaste) in every backpack. 

Community Outreach Dental Program – Adelaide Common Ground Dental Clinic 

This project has focused on providing free dental examinations, fillings, cleanings, oral hygiene education, dentures, and referrals for more complex procedures for socially disadvantaged individuals, including homeless individuals, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, refugees, asylum seekers, and trauma survivors. The initiative also emphasises student involvement, aiming to equip future health professionals with the skills and sensitivity needed to address the needs of marginalised communities. 

Oral Health Program for Aboriginal people of Kanggawoodli hostels (SA) 

Consultation and co-design of a program with community staff and clients has been undertaken at Kanggawodli and allied centres, predicated on an awareness that cultural appropriateness of food/ yarning and dental screening education are innately intertwined and necessary to continue to build respectful and long-term relationships and trust.  When this phase of the project comes to an end, the Aboriginal community has expressed a long-term plan to have a dental clinic established at Kanggawodli.  

For a full list of past recipients and to apply for a grant, go to the ADA Dental Health Foundation’s dedicated page by visiting ADA DHF Community Service Grants  

* The exact amount distributed in AU$ may fluctuate with the exchange rate at the time of distribution.