The importance of Oral Health

Our teeth have such an important role in our lives, by helping us chew and digest food, talk and speak clearly and also giving our face its shape.

The benefits of a smile can give us greater confidence, influence our social lives, careers and relationships. The health benefits of looking after our teeth can support in reducing the risk of certain diseases such as certain cancers and dementia, as well as supporting a healthy baby in pregnancy.

Having a brief healthy conversation about oral health


Use open discovery questions to make the most of conversations by recognising an opportunity to discuss health and wellbeing.

Establishing how the person is. Ask questions such as 'how do you feel about your oral health?' or 'What help or support would you like with looking after your teeth?'


Acknowledge the response by using healthy conversation skills such as active listening, reflecting or showing empathy. This will allow for a joint understanding of the support a person needs.

Remember to personalise and consider the individuals motivation for having healthy oral health


Take appropriate action to either give information, signpost to a local service or refer them yourself. Remember that the solution must be person centered and they must want to change a financial behaviour or want support

Local Support

The Oral Health Improvement team is based within Leicestershire County Council's Public Health Team and provide:

  • Oral Health training for frontline staff
  • Supervised Tooth Brushing training for staff in early years settings
  • Oral Health Resource Library
  • Healthy Teeth, Happy Smiles information leaflets
  • Supporting national oral health campaigns

The team provides support to professionals to promote oral health and prevent tooth decay in order to reduce health inequalities

for further information about oral health in Leicestershire email:

Useful Resources

For more information about looking after your teeth and gums please visit the following websites