11 Oral Health Messages

Oral Health Family brushing teeth

11 Key evidence based oral health messages.

What do we all agree on? – when it comes to how you manage your own oral health and those that you love and care for, what are some of the basics that we should be thinking about? The 11 Oral Health messages provided below will help broaden your understanding.

The The Australian National Oral Health Plan 2004–2013 https://www.adelaide.edu.au/arcpoh/oral-health-promotion/resources/national-consensus-workshop/ 

Included a consensus document about 11 key evidence based oral health messages. In other words what do the experts agree on is the current best evidence to support oral health.

This statement was written over 10 years ago and it is now being reviewed and updated.

I will provide the 11 Key Oral Health Messages here for your benefit, feel welcome to share them to help improve everyone’s oral health.

Balanced diet oral health


(1) Breast milk is best for babies and is not associated with an increased risk of dental caries.

(2) After 6 months of age, infant feeding cups rather than infant feeding bottles are preferred for drinks other than formula or breast milk. Sugary fluids should not be placed in infant feeding bottles. Comfort sucking on a bottle should be discouraged.

(3) Follow the Australian dietary guidelines. Focus on:

• drinking plenty of tap water;

• limiting sugary foods and drinks; and

• choosing healthy snacks, e.g. fruits and vegetables.

Brushing Teeth

Tooth cleaning

(4) Brush teeth and along the gum line twice a day with a soft brush.

(5) People over 18 months of age should use an appropriate fluoride toothpaste.


(6) Fluoride mouth-rinses can be effective in reducing decay. Speak with your oral health professional about whether fluoride mouth rinsing is appropriate for you. Read ‘Cleaning Between Your Teeth The Fast Facts’ for more information.

Chewing gum

(7) Chewing sugar free gum can reduce dental decay.


(8) Mouthguards should be worn for all sports where there is a reasonable risk of a mouth injury. This includes football, rugby, martial arts, boxing, hockey, basketball, netball, baseball, softball, squash, soccer, BMX bike riding, skateboarding, in-line skating, trampolining, cricket (wicket keeping), water skiing and snow ski racing.

Mouthguards for children

Age of first oral health visit 

(9) Children should have an oral health assessment by age 2. 

Frequency of oral health visits

(10) Everyone has different oral health needs and risk levels which should be reflected in the frequency of check-ups. Talk with your oral health professional about your risk level and how frequently you need to visit for an oral health check.


(11) Quit smoking to improve oral and general health. You can ask your oral health professional about quitting.

Quit Smoking


References Oral Health Messages for the Australian public. findings of a national consensus workshop. Oral Health Messages for the Australian Public. Findings of a National Consensus Workshop | The National Oral Health Promotion Clearinghouse. (2008, May 5). Retrieved July 28, 2022, from https://www.adelaide.edu.au/arcpoh/oral-health-promotion/resources/national-consensus-workshop/

Health.tas.gov.au. 2022. [online] Available at: https://www.health.tas.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-10/Key_messages_for_good_oral_health_A3_poster_DoHTasmania2016.pdf

***This article contains general information only. It should not be relied on as advice in relation to your particular circumstances and issues, for which you should obtain specific, independent professional advice.

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