• CHCOHC401A - Inform and encourage clients and groups to understand and achieve good oral health

Inform and encourage clients and groups to understand and achieve good oral health

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by workers to provide educational and motivational information that promotes oral health care in a way that encourages clients to take action to improve and maintain their own oral health as a contributing factor to general health


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge appropriate for workers in a range of health and community services environments whose work roles provide them with an opportunity to:

promote the importance of good oral health care

encourage clients to use good oral health care practices


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Develop and maintain understanding of oral health information and issues

1.1 Develop and maintain knowledge and understanding of what constitutes good oral health, including oral health messages

1.2 Develop and maintain an understanding of oral health issues, including risk factors for oral diseases, and risk factors and outcomes of poor oral health and hygiene practices

1.3 Develop and maintain an understanding of oral hygiene techniques appropriate to address specific client needs and preferences

1.4 Demonstrate own commitment to oral health through awareness and application of effective self-care oral health practices

1.5 Recognise social and cultural determinants of health as well as varying individual motivations and capacity to carry out good oral health care practices

2. Provide information related to oral health in a planned, individualised, client focused and outcomes based manner

2.1 Access and provide accurate, current and relevant oral health information as required to address planned outcomes

2.2 Ensure information provided is relevant to the target audience and is presented in a manner that engages the client and/or group, addresses their needs and encourages them to ask questions and improve their oral health

2.3 Provide accurate information to clients about risk factors, including the importance of diet and nutrition

2.4 Provide information on the causes and problems of poor oral health, including dentalplaque, dental caries, dental erosion and periodontal disease

2.5 Provide information on the causes and prevention of oral diseases, consequences of oral diseases and the impact of oral health on general health and well being

2.6 Provide information on prevention of oral injury and injury management

2.7 Provide information on oral pain and options for appropriate management

2.8 Provide information on available oral health care resources, services and referral pathways, including oral health practitioners, other health practitioners and specialist resources

2.9 Ensure flexible approach to delivery, using materials and methods that take into account social and cultural determinants of health, location, economic and physical circumstances, age, culture, capability and communication needs of the target audience

2.10 Maintain client confidentiality in line with organisation and legislative guidelines

3. Provide specific information on oral hygiene self-care techniques and appropriate aids

3.1 Provide information on and demonstrate a variety of relevant oral hygiene techniques, including appropriate infection control practices

3.2 Provide information on the use of appropriate aids and explain their advantages in terms of achieving and maintaining effective oral hygiene

3.3 Provide appropriate information to assist people with special needs with their oral hygiene self care technique

3.4 Encourage clients to follow effective oral hygiene practices and to make knowledge, attitude andbehavioural changes where necessary

4. Follow up and reinforce oral health information

4.1 Obtain feedback from the client and/or group to determine whether the information is correctly received and understood

4.2 Implement a review strategy to determine the effectiveness of the oral health information session and whether planned outcomes for the target audience were met

4.3 Implement changes to information or delivery processes based on review outcomes

4.4 Regularly update and maintain records of oral health care programs according to organisation policies and procedures

Required Skills

This describes the essential skills and knowledge and their level required for this unit.

Essential knowledge:

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include knowledge of:

Awareness of the National Oral Health Plan and other relevant state, territory and national government policy and programs

Basic anatomy and physiology underpinning oral health

Causes and prevention of tooth wear, including erosion, abrasion and attrition

Effective self-care practices for oral health

Factors that impact on oral health, including:


access to services

accumulation of plaque and calculus

alcohol, licit and illicit drugs and substances and over the counter and herbal treatments

alcohol misuse

bacteria in dental plaque

client education

correct infant feeding practices

diet and nutrition, including fluids


general health and wellbeing

immunosuppressant conditions

medical history

oral piercings

psychological issues, such as fear of being seen without dentures or persisting with ill fitting dentures for satisfaction of others

salivary function


social and cultural determinants of health

susceptible tooth surfaces

transmission of bacteria particularly from parent to child

trauma, such as from seizures

Guidelines for use of relevant technology, including information technology

Healthy eating and drinking recommendations as identified in the National Health and Medical Research Council's (NHMRC) Australian Dietary Guidelines

Impact of certain health conditions and related treatments on oral health e.g. immunosuppressant conditions, HIV, chemotherapy and radiation

Individual motivating factors for improving oral health

continued ...

Essential knowledge (cont'd):

Legislation and organisation policies and procedures relating to client confidentiality, documentation and infection control standards

Oral disease and broad treatment options available

Oral health information, including oral hygiene techniques

Oral injury prevention and management:

first response e.g. falls, teeth falling out, swallowing teeth, soft tissue damage, such as that related to seizures

mouth guards

Oral side effects of medications, such as metallic taste in the mouth, dry mouth syndrome and ulcers

Own role in client health education and where it fits on the continuum of health promotion e.g. policy, communication and action

Referral pathways for both private and public oral health services

Relevant evaluation criteria for monitoring effectiveness of oral health care program

Risk and preventive factors associated with oral disease

Roles of oral health practitioners

Saliva and its role in the maintenance of oral health:

acting as a lubricant

delivering calcium, phosphate and fluoride to the tooth surface

its effect on the ability to swallow

protecting teeth by neutralising acid

Specific oral health information related to special needs due to disability, aged care, children's needs, general health, language, culture and social circumstances

Symptoms and signs that suggest a need for further assessment

The interaction between oral health and general health

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Acknowledge client ability with oral health self-care and encourage and motivate them to improve, including encouraging friends, family and/or carers where appropriate

Carry out effective oral health self-care practices

Communicate effectively with a wide range of people to provide information that addresses their oral health care needs in a manner that takes into account their specific requirements, including the use of augmentative and alternative communication strategies where required

Evaluate how well target audience has understood information provided

Reflect on and improve own level and application of skills and knowledge to achieve desirable outcomes and maintain own capabilities

Use evaluation skills to review the effectiveness of oral health information provided

Use initiative in finding opportunities to promote oral health care

Use relevant technology, including information technology safely and effectively

In addition, the candidate must be able to effectively do the task outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage the task and manage contingencies in the context of the identified work role

These include the ability to:

Apply basic problem solving skills to resolve problems within organisation protocols

Apply literacy and numeracy skills required to fulfill work role in a safe manner and as specified by the organisation

Consistently demonstrate interpersonal skills, including empathy when relating to people from a range of backgrounds and abilities

Work effectively with clients, colleagues and supervisor

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the Performance Criteria, Required Skills and Knowledge, the Range Statement and the Assessment Guidelines for this Training Package.

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate this unit of competency:

The individual being assessed must provide evidence of specified essential knowledge as well as skills

This unit is best assessed in the workplace or in a simulated workplace under the normal range of conditions

Consistency in performance should consider the particular workplace context

Access and equity considerations:

All workers in health and community services environments should be aware of access, equity and human rights issues in relation to their own area of work

All workers should develop their ability to work in a culturally diverse environment

In recognition of particular issues facing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander communities, workers should be aware of cultural, historical and current issues impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people

Assessors and trainers must take into account relevant access and equity issues relating to factors impacting on Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander clients and communities

Context of and specific resources for assessment:

This unit can be delivered and assessed independently, however holistic assessment practice with other community services units of competency is encouraged

Resources required for assessment include:

access to appropriate workplace where assessment can take place

simulation of realistic workplace setting

Method of assessment:

In cases where the learner does not have the opportunity to cover all relevant aspects in the work environment, the remainder should be assessed through realistic simulations, projects, previous relevant experience or oral questioning on 'What if?' scenarios

Assessment of this unit of competency will include observation of processes and procedures, oral and/or written questioning on essential knowledge and skills and consideration of required attitudes

Consistency of performance should be demonstrated over a range of relevant workplace conditions

Related units:

This unit may be assessed independently or in conjunction with other units with associated workplace application, such as:

CHCPROM401B Share health information

BSBCMM401A Make a presentation

Chronic disease self-management skill set

Where this function involves working with groups, candidates may need to undertake a unit in working with groups, such as:

CHCGROUP403D Plan and conduct group activities

Range Statement

The Range Statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Add any essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts.

Good oral health refers to but may not be limited to:

A person's mouth that has:

breath without offensive odour

inflammation and lesion-free soft tissue

intact and stable teeth without cavities

moist lips without chapping

no build up of food, calculus or plaque

no oral pain

pink, moist, uncoated tongue

watery plentiful saliva

Looking after the whole mouth, including natural and artificial teeth, gums, tongue, lips and inside the cheeks

Oral health related quality of life factors, such as appearance, social interaction and self esteem

Oral health messages refers to:

State, territory or national statements that include evidence based current best practice techniques and strategies for maintaining good oral health

Oral health issues may be related to:

Damage to teeth due to trauma

Damage to soft tissues e.g. due to smoking or prescribed and non-prescribed drugs and over the counter and herbal treatments

Dental decay

Developmental abnormalities

Non-carious tooth wear:



erosion (acid)

Oromotor impairment

Periodontal disease

Physical impairment

Poor nutrition and eating and drinking habits

Poor oral hygiene

Poorly fitting or lack of dentures and other prosthesis

Quality and quantity of saliva

Soft tissue lesions

Systemic conditions

Risk factors for oral diseases may include but not be limited to:

Age-related deterioration

Bleeding gums

Chronic conditions, such as diabetes

Cognitive, physical or psychological disability

Diet and nutrition related factors, including:

consumption and frequency of foods with high sugar content and/or highly acidic drinks, such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks

incorrect use of infant feeding and dummies in babies/children

Eating disorders

Exposure to radiation and chemotherapy

High levels of plaque

Impact of chewing tobacco

Impact of smoking

Lack of fluoride

Lack of regular dental visits

Mental illness or disorder

Metabolic disorders

Oral piercing

Poor oral hygiene

Salivary function

Use and misuse of alcohol, licit and illicit drugs and substances and over the counter and herbal treatments e.g. opioids and psychotropic drugs

Oral hygiene techniques refer to the care of teeth, soft tissue and prostheses and may include, but not be limited to:

Appropriate use of oral health products, including fluoride toothpaste and alcohol-free mouthwash when recommended

Cleaning and maintaining of full and partial dentures and all natural teeth

Manual and electric tooth brushing technique

Modifications to toothbrush handles for specific needs of client/carer e.g. as modified by an occupational therapist

Techniques for clients with specific needs e.g. cognitive impairment, physical disability, aged clients and carer, young children and babies

Techniques required for clients wearing oral appliances e.g. braces, crowns, implants and dentures

Use of other specific oral hygiene techniques and aids as specified in client's oral health care plan

Social and cultural determinants of health refer to:

The socio-economic and cultural factors that affect the living circumstances, quality of life, health literacy and in turn the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities

Individual motivations may include but are not limited to:

Access to services

Financial priorities

General health and wellbeing


Pain management

Potential consequences of poor oral hygiene, including impact on general health and specific health issues

Previous experience of oral health care

Psychological e.g. fear of being seen without dentures

Self-awareness of personal appearance

Self-esteem and social interaction

Oral health information may include but is not limited to:

Brochures, posters and information sheets

Models and mirrors

PowerPoint presentations

Resources available for specific groups, such as children, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and people with disabilities


Web based resources, such as those available on the National Oral Health Clearinghouse and government health department websites, including oral health messages

Planned outcomes refer to:

The intended change in oral health knowledge, attitude and behaviour specific to the needs of the individual or group

Target audience may include but is not limited to individuals and groups who are:

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

Children and adolescents

Financially or socially disadvantaged

Friends, families and/or carers of clients

From culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including refugees and migrants

Living in rural, remote or isolated areas

Older people

Palliative care clients

People with chronic disease e.g. diabetes and osteoporosis

People with disability and/or support needs

People with immunosuppressed conditions

People with mental health issues

People with substance misuse issues

Pregnant women

Taking medications that affect oral health

Young parents

Importance of diet and nutrition on oral health may include:

Ensuring dietary habits, including fluids are in line with current Australian Dietary Guidelines and taking into consideration:




frequency of intake

quantity of intake

Impact of cariogenic and acidic food and drinks

Dental plaque refers to:

A biofilm containing bacteria deposited on the teeth and associated with the development of dental caries

Dental caries refers to:

A disease where bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel, dentine, and cementum)

also known as tooth decay

Dental erosion refers to:

Erosion of the tooth enamel and possibly the dentine caused by acids not of bacterial origin, such as those in acidic foods, acidic drinks and stomach acids

Periodontal disease refers to:

Diseases of the gum and/or the supporting bone that range from simple gingival or gum inflammation to serious disease that results in major damage to the soft tissue and bone that support the teeth:

gingivitis and periodontitis

characterised by:

bad breath (halitosis)

bleeding gums

discomfort in the gums


loosening of the teeth

receding of the gums

spaces opening between teeth

Prevention of oral diseases may include but is not limited to:

Addressing alcohol, drug and substance misuse issues within a harm minimisation framework

Appropriate timing of oral hygiene e.g. after food or medication

Dietary change

Effective oral health self-care practices

Encouraging smoking cessation

Increasing salivary flow and optimising its composition

Increasing water intake to recommended amount

Plaque control and removal

Preventing oral trauma from sports and other injuries

Promoting the use of fluorides

Regular visits to oral health practitioners

Consequences of oral diseases may include but are not limited to:

Behavioural change

Emotional and psychological issues

Financial impact e.g. loss of employment

Ill health

Impaired social interaction

Inability to concentrate related, for example, to pain


Missed school or work days


Noticeable physical changes

Nutritional deficiencies

Pain which may vary from minor to extreme levels

Possible systemic illness

Reduced life span

Reduced quality of life

Reduced self-esteem

Speech impairment

Oral health practitioners include:

Dental assistants

Dental hygienists

Dental prosthetists

Dental specialists e.g. orthodontist

Dental technicians

Dental therapists


Oral health therapists

Other health practitioners include but are not limited to:

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander health workers


Enrolled nurses

General practitioners

Health promotion officers


Occupational therapists

Registered nurses

Speech pathologists

Methods of delivery may include but are not limited to:

Audio visual presentation

Augmentative and alternative communication systems

Pamphlets and flyers


Verbal presentation

Written documents

Appropriate aids may include:

Face mirror for client

Range of interdental aids

Range of manual and electric toothbrushes

Range of toothpastes

Range of topical self-care products e.g. alcohol-free mouthwash, fluoride supplements and tooth remineraliser

Resources e.g. teaching models

Special needs include but are not limited to:

Anxiety, including as a trigger for seizures

Cognitive impairment

Communication impairment

Cultural preferences

High gag reflex

Homelessness/rough sleeping

Immunosuppressed conditions

Intellectual disability

Language barriers

Mental illness

Oromotor impairment

Physical impairment

Swallowing disorder

Knowledge, attitude and behavioural changes may include:

Appropriate infant feeding, including:

breast and bottle feeding

introduction of solids

Cessation of smoking

Ensuring fluoride intake

Improved diet and nutrition, including reduced frequency of drinks containing acid and sugars, such as carbonated drinks, fruit juices and sports drinks

Improved oral hygiene techniques and practices, including increased salivary flow

Increased sense of control over own oral health

Increased use of oral health services

Limiting foods or drinks that stay in the mouth for long periods of time

Minimised harm from illicit drug use

Reduced frequency of snacking


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable