• Tips for a dentist

For example, a dentist could: 
  1. Deliver one of the general messages, i.e.: “Eating fruit and vegetables every day and reducing consumption of salt and saturated fats reduces your risk of being overweight, obese and developing diabetes” 
  2. Outline a few tips for making improvements: 
  • “If you feel like something sweet, then try a piece of fruit instead of lollies or a sugary drink.” 
  • “Eating two pieces of fruit a day is ideal.” 

3. Explain why these changes are important to improving oral health as well as general health: 

  • “Sugary drinks aren’t good for your teeth because they can cause decay or erosion. Limiting sugar intake is also important for weight management.” 

4. The dentist will also be able to refer patients to appropriate further information or other health professionals (as appropriate) and offer the consumer resource: 

  • “The Australian Dietary Guidelines resources have heaps of information on what is included in a healthy diet.” 
  • “You could consider looking up information on the Better Health Channel.” 
Dental Specific Health Messages
Key Message 
Healthy eating
  • Sugary drinks aren’t good for your teeth because they can cause decay and erosion
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks, especially between meals to help reduce your risk of tooth decay
  • Tap water is the best drink between meals and at bedtime
  • Eat fresh fruit rather than drinking fruit juice to reduce your risk of tooth decay
  • Dairy products like cheese and plain milk can help prevent tooth decay
Physical activity
  • Regular exercise can help you manage your weight and reduce your risk of developing diabetes. People who have diabetes have a much higher chance of developing oral disease
  • Sports drinks have been shown to contribute to dental erosion. To help reduce this, athletes should minimise the time their teeth are in contact with these drinks.
Alcohol consumption
  • Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to oral cancers and periodontitis
  • Alcohol can cause an increase in tooth decay
  • Heavy drinking can cause irritation of the gum, tongue and oral tissues
  • Heavy drinking can cause poor healing after dental surgery
Tobacco use
  • Smokers are more likely to have serious gum disease
  • Smoking is a major cause for mouth and throat cancer
  • Smoking stains teeth and causes halitosis
  • Smoking affects both the gums and the bones that support the teeth