People from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) and non-English speaking backgrounds, refugees and newly arrived migrants may have oral health problems and may not be aware of, or able to look after their own dental health care. There are a number of barriers to accessing oral health care including:

  • language and cultural barriers 
  • limited understanding of oral health services available
  • cost of transport to appointments
  • limited availability of interpreters.

Some refugees, prior to arrival in Australia, may have dental and oral health issues due to:

  • non-fluoridated water in their country of origin
  • lack of tooth brushing habits, or access to fluoride toothpaste and toothbrush
  • limited access to preventive and dental treatment
  • dietary and nutritional issues
  • effects of torture and/or other physical trauma.

Many may require the support of various health care providers and community groups to help them in their oral health care. For everyday messages on how to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy, see page:  Healthy habits for a Healthy Mouth.

Multicultural Health Communications Services. Translated materials for oral health care, dental health, disease prevention and health promotion for multicultural communities

Multilingual resources

  • NSW Refugee Health Service: Share the Same Smile – a presentation for refugee communities
    The Share the Same Smile suite of resources aims to improve oral health knowledge and reduce dental problems in refugee communities. The resources are designed to be presented directly to refugee groups, in their own language, by bilingual community educators, or in simple English by other multicultural or health workers.
  • NSW Refugee Health Service: Healthy Mouth Something to Smile About – a multilingual video
    This multilingual video is based on the information included in the Share the Same Smile resources.
    The video is available in eight languages: Arabic - Iraqi, Arabic - Sudanese, Dari, English, Karen, Nepali, Tamil, and Urdu.
  • Multicultural Health Communication Service: How to Keep your Teeth Healthy – Brochure
    This translated factsheet provides information about healthy foods and drinks, when to get dental treatment, oral health for children and babies and a list of public dental services. It is an ideal handout to use with the Share the Same Smile resources. The publication is available in eight languages: Arabic, Burmese, Dari, English, Farsi, Karen, Nepali, and Tamil.

Resources for health professionals

  • ​Factsheet: Betel nut products and preparations. This resource has been developed for health professionals. It aims to improve their understanding of the health issues associated with betel nut use and provide guidance on how to conduct a brief intervention with patients using the substance.
Current as at: Monday 1 November 2021