Behind this smile is a Victorian who knows the importance of a healthy mouth

Oral health resources

Dental advice for people with disabilities

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How to keep your mouth healthy

Click on the question to view the information.

Why is it important to take care of your mouth?

A healthy mouth lets you eat, speak and smile without pain or embarrassment.
A healthy mouth lets you eat, speak and smile without pain or embarrassment.


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What should you eat to keep your mouth healthy?

health foods

Healthy food keeps your mouth and body healthy.
healthy foods
Healthy foods include:
  • fruit and vegetables
  • grains and cereals like rice and wholegrain bread
  • milk, cheese and yoghurt
  • meat without too much fat
  • fish
  • eggs.
Plaque causes tooth decay.
Eating sugary food can cause holes in your teeth. Holes in your teeth can be very painful.
cakes and sweet biscuits
Sugary food includes:
  • cakes and sweet biscuits
  • lollies and chocolate.
If you eat sugary foods, you should only do this sometimes.
If you eat sugary foods, you should only do this sometimes.
 sugary drinks between meals
Try not to snack on sugary foods between meals.


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What should you drink to keep your mouth healthy?

Water is the best drink to keep your mouth and body healthy.

Water is the best drink to keep your mouth and body healthy.
Drink lots of tap water each day.
Drink lots of tap water each day.
In most places, tap water has fluoride in it.
Fluoride helps to protect your teeth from getting holes.
Plain milk is a healthy drink choice.
Plain milk is a healthy drink choice.
Plaque causes tooth decay.
Drinking sweet drinks can cause holes in your teeth.
Holes in your teeth can be very painful.
Sweet drinks
Sweet drinks include:
* soft drinks, like lemonade or cola
* diet soft drinks
* cordial
* fruit juice
* sports drinks
* energy drinks
* flavoured milk.
 Try not to add sugar to your coffee or tea.
Try not to add sugar to your coffee or tea.


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What is the best way to clean your mouth?

Why do you need to brush your teeth?

Brushing gets rid of the plaque on your teeth.

Brushing gets rid of the plaque on your teeth.
Plaque is a clear sticky coating.
Plaque causes tooth decay.
Plaque causes tooth decay. This means it can make holes in your teeth.
Plaque causes tooth decay.
Holes in your teeth can be very painful.
When should you brush your teeth?
When should you brush your teeth?
You should brush your teeth in the morning.
And you should brush your teeth again before you go to bed at night.
What should you use to brush your teeth?
Use a soft toothbrush.
Use a soft toothbrush.
 0-18 months – don’t use toothpaste, just use water
The type of toothpaste you use depends on your age:

  • 0-18 months – don’t use toothpaste, just use water
 18 months to 6 years – use children’s low fluoride toothpaste
  • 18 months to 6 years – use children’s low fluoride toothpaste
 Children 6 years and over, and all adults – use standard fluoride toothpaste.
  • Children 6 years and over, and all adults – use standard fluoride toothpaste.
 You only need to use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
You only need to use a small pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
How should you brush your teeth?
 How should you brush your teeth?
Brush teeth and along the gum line.
Brush gently in small circles.
 Spit out the toothpaste when you’re finished.
Spit out the toothpaste when you’re finished.
But you don’t need to rinse your mouth with water.
 If you find it difficult to brush your teeth, your dentist can give you ideas on how to make it easier.
If you find it difficult to brush your teeth, your dentist can give you ideas on how to make it easier.
How should you clean your dentures?
 How should you clean your dentures?
Brush your dentures with mild soap and water every day.
Also brush your gums and tongue morning and night with a soft toothbrush.
 Put your dentures in a glass of cold water before you go to sleep at night.
Put your dentures in a glass of cold water before you go to sleep at night.
How should you clean your mouth if you don’t have any teeth or dentures?
 Brush your gums and tongue morning and night with a soft toothbrush.
Brush your gums and tongue morning and night with a soft toothbrush.


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When should you see your dentist?

Ask your dentist how often you should see them for a check-up.

Ask your dentist how often you should see them for a check-up.
Go to your dentist straight away if you have pain in your mouth
Go to your dentist straight away if:
  • you have pain in your mouth
your gums are bleeding
  • your gums are bleeding
Go to your dentist straight away if you have sores, lumps or any patches that are a different colour in your mouth
  • you have sores, lumps or any patches that are a different colour in your mouth
If you are worried about your mouth for any reason
  • If you are worried about your mouth for any reason.
Which dentist can you see?
 You can go to a public or private dentist.
You can go to a public or private dentist.
 healthcare and pension cards
You can go to a public dentist if you have a:
  • healthcare card
  • pension concession card.
 You may need a letter from your disability service.
If you are a client of a disability service, you will not have to pay at a public dentist. You may need a letter from your disability service. This letter will tell the dentist that you are a client of the disability service.
How can you find a public dentist?
 web icon
 phone icon
Call us:
Melbourne metropolitan: 1300 360 054
Outside Melbourne metro: 1800 833 039
How can you find a private dentist?
 yellow pages
Look in the Yellow Pages under ‘Dentists’.
 web icon
Go to the Yellow Pages website:
www.yellowpages.com.au


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Where can you go for more information?

If you would like more information you can:

phone icon

Call us: 03 9341 1203
email icon
web icon
Go to our website: www.dhsv.org.au


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Download this information in PDF format for printing

easy read iconiconWhat is the best way to clean your mouth? [PDF - 314 KB]

iconWhat should you eat and drink to keep your mouth healthy? [PDF - 208 KB]

iconWhen should you see your dentist? [PDF - 294 KB]

iconHow smoking affects your mouth [PDF - 1.3 MB]


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