Health & Wellbeing Service - Manchester

4 Key Oral Health Messages


To promote good Oral Health there are four key messages:

1. Diet:


reduce the consumption and especially the frequency of intake of drinks, confectionery and foods with sugars.

  • The consumption of sugars both the frequency and the amount is important in determining the rate of tooth decay.
  • When sugars are consumed they should be part of a meal rather than between meals.
  • Snacks and drinks should be free of added sugars whenever possible.
  • The frequent consumption of acidic drinks (such as fruit juice, squashes or carbonated drinks) should be avoided to help prevent dental erosion.

2. Toothbrushing:


Clean the teeth thoroughly twice every day with fluoride toothpaste.

  • Effective daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste is the best way of preventing both caries and periodontal disease.
  • Other oral hygiene aids such as floss and interdental brushes are best used after they have been demonstrated by a dentist, therapist or hygienist.
  • Thorough brushing of all tooth surfaces and gum margins twice every day is of more value than more frequent cursory brushing, and a gentle scrub technique should be advised.
  • A small soft-to-medium texture toothbrush should be used to allow all tooth surfaces and gum margins to be cleaned easily and comfortably.
  • Effective toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste will help control caries provided that the diet is also favourable.

3. Fluoride:


fluoridation of the water supply is a safe and highly effective public health measure.

  • Water fluoridation should be targeted at communities with higher caries levels.
  • Where it is not technically feasible other fluoride strategies should be employed, such as programmes to promote the use of fluoride toothpaste.

4. Dental attendance:


have an oral examination every year.

  • Everyone, irrespective of age and dental condition, should have an oral examination approximately once a year so that cases of oral cancer or other oral diseases can be detected early and treated.
  • This advice also applies to those without any natural teeth.
  • Children and those at risk from oral diseases including smokers may need to be seen more frequently, as advised by the dentist.