Skip to content

Review of Evidence

On this page:

Evidence-Based Oral Health Promotion Resource (2011) - Victorian Department of Health

The Evidence-Based Oral Health Promotion ResourceLink to external website summarises the most effective health promotion strategies for prevention of oral health problems. It will assist health professionals, policy makers, planners and health promotion practitioners to further promote oral health in Victoria.

return to top

Evidence-based Oral Health Messages for the Australian Public - Oral Health Promotion Clearinghouse Workshop 2009

In November 2009 this Clearinghouse on Oral Health Promotion at the Australian Research Centre for Population Oral Health (ARCPOH), the University of Adelaide conducted a two day workshop to develop a consensus on the key Evidence-Based Oral Health Messages for the Australian Public based on scientific evidence. Eminent researchers, scholars and practitioners in the field of oral health participated from all over Australia. The result was a set of 11 key oral health messages on diet, tooth cleaning, mouth rinses, chewing gum, safety and protection, age of first oral health visit, frequency of oral health visits and smoking. The consensus was published as an article in the Australian Dental Journal in September 2011. The text of the article including the 11 oral health messages has been reproduced with permission from the Australian Dental Journal.

Oral Health Messages Pamphlet or Oral Health Messages Order Form.

Messages and Background Papers (Literature reviews)

The following are the papers presented during the workshop on each of the oral health messages and form the evidence base for the above mentioned paper.


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

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.

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.

Tooth Cleaning

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

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



Fluoride mouthrinses can be effective in reducing decay. Speak with your oral health professional about whether fluoride mouth rinsing is appropriate for you.


Chewing Gum

Chewing sugar free gum can reduce dental decay.


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.

Age of First Oral Health Visit

Children should have an oral health assessment by age 2.


Frequency of Oral Health Visits

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.



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


return to top

Oral Health Promotion Practice Guidelines - SA Health

The South Australian Dental Service has developed the Oral Health Promotion Practice GuidelinesLink to external website to provide clinicians and other staff with the tools, knowledge and support  to undertake effective health promotion strategies. The guidelines can be accessed through the above link.

return to top

Flossing for the Management of Periodontal Diseases and Dental Caries in Adults - The Cochrane Library

Published in December 2011 by The Cochrane Library, Flossing for the Management of Periodontal and Dental Caries in AdultsLink to external website discusses the evidence regarding the effectiveness of flossing for the prevention of gum disease and dental caries.

return to top

Oral Health Promotion Clearinghouse Unit

Adelaide Dental School 
Level 9, Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building 
The University of Adelaide


T: +61 8 8313 3291