Lift the lip screening and referral pathway tool
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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.
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.