Oral health advice from our dental experts

2 August 2017

Dentistry is about more than just teeth. In fact, our oral health is linked to our overall physical and mental health. Research has found that poor oral health can lead to major health issues, including cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, stroke, diabetes and obesity.

Understanding the links between oral health and general health in an important first step in caring for your teeth and gums which will also have positive flow on effects to your general health.

This week is Dental Health Week (7 - 13 August), a week that aims to educate Australian's about the importance of maintaining good oral health in every aspect of life, no matter how busy life can get.

In support of Dental Health Week, we asked our dental experts what advice they have for keeping a healthy mouth. From brushing and flossing techniques to what you should, and shouldn't eat, find out what they recommend.


  • Brush for at least 2 minutes, every morning and night.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush with a small head to ensure effective cleaning without causing damage to your teeth and gums.
  • Use a toothpaste containing fluoride to help strengthen your tooth enamel.
  • Brush your tongue can help to reduce oral bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Change your toothbrush every 3 - 4 months (sooner if the bristles start to fray).


  • Clean in-between your teeth, with floss or interdental brushes, at least once a day to remove the plaque from between your teeth to help prevent gum disease, tooth decay, and bad breath
  • Take your time to get the technique right. Watch our 'Oral Health tips' video above, to see our experts demonstrate how to floss.

Diet and nutrition

  • Choose tap water over bottled water. Tap water contains fluoride, which helps prevent tooth decay.
  • Avoid sugary food and drinks which cause acid attacks on our teeth.
  • Limit snacks between meals to give your teeth a break from the acid attacks that occur when you eat.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating. This helps produce the saliva needed to neutralise acid attacks.

Find out more

To find out about oral health research at the University of Sydney, visit our research page.

You can also learn how our research into dentistry is focused on putting the mouth into health through lifespan oral health, with dentistry as a key factor in overall health.