Lift the lip screening and referral pathway tool
On this page
Our Lift the Lip program provides guidance on checking for tooth decay in children. Depending on if they have decay, a referral to a dental health professional may be needed.
Healthy teeth and gums – no referral needed
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 – referral needed
- White lines along the gum line.
- This may be reversible if treated early.
More advanced decay – referral needed
- Brown spots that don’t wipe off and obvious cavitation.
Advanced decay – immediate referral
- Dental abscess. If swelling or infection is present, please consider a medical referral first.
How to refer your patient
- Tell the child’s parent or guardian that their child would benefit from a dental appointment with us or with a private dentist.
- If the parent or guardian consents, you can refer the patient to us, and we will contact the parent to make an appointment. We provide FREE* dental treatment for ALL children under 18 years of age if parents present their Medicare card for bulk billing.
- Complete our referral form and email it to us.
What happens after you make your referral
- We contact the parent or guardian to arrange a dental appointment.
- We provide you feedback when the child completes their dental care
- We will tell you if they fail to attend the scheduled appointment if we can’t contact their parent or guardian.