Lift the Lip - Referral Pathway for Health Professionals

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Healthy Teeth

  • Healthy teeth and gums

Advise parents/carers to:

  • Lift their child’s lip regularly to check for early signs of tooth decay.
  • Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste from 18 months of age, and to spit out the toothpaste and not rinse.
  • Encourage healthy food and drink choices, that are low in sugar.
  • Choose fluoridated tap water as the preferred drink.

Early Stage Decay

  • White lines along the gum line.
  • This may be reversible if treated early.

More Advanced Decay

  • Brown spots that don’t wipe off and obvious cavitation.

Advanced Decay

  • Dental Abscess.
  • If swelling or infection is present consider a medical referral first.

Health Professional

The health professional will inform the Parent/Guardian that:

  • Their child would benefit from a dental appointment with Oral Health Services Tasmania (OHST) or the Private Dental Sector.
  • If the parent consents a referral will be made to OHST. OHST will contact the parent to make an appointment.
  • OHST offers FREE* dental treatment for ALL children under 18 years of age.

Parent/Guardian Chooses Private Dentist

  • Advise parent that a dental referral is required.
  • Parent is to seek treatment.

Parent/Guardian Chooses Oral Health Services Tasmania

  • Complete the referral advice form and email to On receipt of the referral advice form, OHST will then contact the parent/guardian to arrange a dental appointment at a local OHST dental clinic.
  • Feedback to health professional will be when: the child completes their dental care, fails to attend the scheduled appointment or parent can not be contacted.

*Almost all dental care is FREE if parents present their Medicare Card for bulk billing.