Keeping a healthy mouth is more than just about your teeth. Your mouth is the gateway to your body and is an important part of your general health and well-being. Good oral health helps to protect your body by reducing the risk of some infections and diseases.

A healthy mouth helps with eating, drinking and generally making you feel good about yourself.

Dental problems can cause pain, tooth sensitivity, discomfort when eating and sleeping.

Keeping your children’s teeth healthy

When children are little, it is the best time for them to learn lifelong habits.

  • Offer a cup from around 6 months of age. Boil tap water until 12 months of age.
  • It is recommended to stop the bottle at around 12 months of age.
  • Start brushing when your baby's first tooth appears. Use kid's toothpaste (low in fluoride) from 18 months of age.
  • Have their teeth checked by their first birthday and every year after that.

Keeping your family's teeth healthy

  • Brush your teeth, gums and tongue morning and night using a soft brush and a small amount of fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss or use interdental brushes daily.
  • Dentures must be cleaned every day with a wet, soft toothbrush and plain soap (not toothpaste).
  • Drink tap water everyday. This can help protect your teeth from tooth decay.
  • Limit foods and drinks high in sugar. e.g. chocolate and sports drinks or energy drinks.
  • Eat more fruit and vegetables every day and limit food high in salt, fat and sugar.
  • Smoking can cause gum disease and tooth loss. If you are thinking about quitting contact iCanQuit call the NSW Quitline 137848 or contact your local AMS.
  • Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  • Wear a mouthguard for all contact sport.
  • If a dental injury occurs contact your local Aboriginal medical service, dentist or go straight to the emergency department at your local public hospital.
  • Don’t wait until there is a dental problem. Visit your dentist for a check up every year.

If you have diabetes ensure you follow your treatment plan to keep diabetes under control. This will decrease your risk of other complications, including gum disease.

For more information on chronic disease visit Integrated oral health.

For more information on how to keep your teeth and your family's teeth healthy visit Healthy Habits for a Healthy Mouth.

Dental checks

Aboriginal dental clinics

Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations (ACCHOs) deliver a holistic and culturally appropriate health services to communities. Some ACCHOs provide dental care for their patients. Each ACCHO may have different eligibility criteria and appointment processes for their dental programs such as:

  • must have a health check (715) before appointment
  • must have proof of Aboriginality
  • must be a regular GP client

Contact your local ACCHO for more information.

The Dalarinji Oral Health Clinic in Sydney offers support state-wide to provide high quality oral health care in a safe and respectful environment.

Public Dental Service

Free dental care is available at NSW public dental clinics for:

  • all children under 18 years of age
  • adults who hold a pensioner concession card, health care card or Commonwealth seniors health card
  • anyone listed on your Centrelink concession cards.

Some NSW Public Dental Services have specific programs for Aboriginal people. Contact your local clinic to find out more.

Children 2-17 years old may also be eligible for some basic free dental care through the Child Dental Benefits Schedule (CDBS). Dental care using CDBS can be used through the public dental service or private dental sector.

To find a private dentist visit Find-a-Dentist.


Current as at: Wednesday 5 October 2022