More than 63,000 Australians are hospitalised every year for preventable dental conditions, constituting the third most common reason for acute preventable hospital admissions. Yet oral diseases are largely avoidable with appropriate preventive measures. This Evidence Check aimed to find the most effective and relevant oral health promotion interventions for use in Australia. It covered systematic reviews of oral health promotion interventions from Australia, NZ, the UK, the US and Canada, finding 46 reviews which included a total of 1,026 individual studies. Twenty-five of these reviews only included randomised controlled trials and so they were the highest possible level of evidence. For the studies covering the broadest population groups, effective interventions included education, use of alternative sweeteners, use of fluoride toothpaste, smoking cessation, and referral to various dental practitioners. However, there were a limited number of studies conducted in Australia, and none focused on diverse populations such as people with disabilities or those on low incomes. This limits the generalisability of the findings to Australia and indicates significant gaps in the evidence base.
Rana K, Ekanayake K, Chimoriya R, Palu E, Do L, Silva M, Tadakamadla S, Bhole S, Leshargie CT, Wen LM, Ha D, Arora A. Effectiveness of oral health promotion interventions: an Evidence Check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute and commissioned by Dental Health Services Victoria for the Victorian Department of Health, September 2022.