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Good oral health is more than being free of pain—it’s important for general health and wellbeing and feeling confident. You can help prevent dental problems by following these tips to take care of your oral health.

Tips for oral health

Brush twice a day, with small, soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste

  • Avoid using a medium or hard toothbrush as this may damage tooth enamel and gums.
  • Spit, don’t rinse after brushing to avoid rinsing away the protective benefit of fluoride

For more information, read the brushing and flossing fact sheet.

Choose healthy foods and drinks that are low in sugar

  • Eat a variety of different foods and avoid foods high in sugar to improve general health and oral health.
  • Avoid regularly snacking on sweet or processed foods as this increases the risk of tooth decay.

Visit the Healthier.Happier website for recipe ideas that are good for teeth as well as general health.

Drink plenty of tap water

  • Make tap water your drink of choice. Tap water that contains fluoride protects teeth against decay. To find out if your community has water fluoridation ask your local council or dental practitioner.
  • If you live in an area without fluoridated water, speak to your local dental practitioner about other ways you can protect your teeth against decay.
  • Avoid drinks that contain added sugars (e.g. soft drinks, cordials, juice, sports drinks or energy drinks) as these increase the risk of tooth decay.

Quit smoking

  • Smoking causes poor oral health. It increases the risk of gum disease and oral cancer, as well as causing stained teeth and bad breath.
  • Quitting smoking is the best thing you can do for your oral health and general health.

For more information or support, contact Quitline or your doctor.

Make an appointment for a dental check-up

  • Pain, difficulty eating, loose teeth or bleeding gums are signs of dental disease.
  • Don’t wait until there is a problem - regular dental check-ups are important to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.

You may be eligible for public oral health services.

Wear a mouthguard when training for or playing contact sports

  • A mouthguard can minimise injuries to teeth, the jaw and surrounding tissue.
  • Accidents involving teeth and related oral tissue are very common. A considerable number of these injuries occur during contact sport.
  • Mouthguards that are custom made by a dental practitioner fit the mouth more accurately. They are recommended over ‘over the counter’ mouthguards.

More information

Go to Toptop of page

Last updated: 5 April 2019