• CHCOHC402A - Support clients and groups to learn practical aspects of oral health care

Support clients and groups to learn practical aspects of oral health care

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required by workers to provide practical information and instruction to clients and groups in relevant aspects of oral health self-care


This unit is intended to address skills and knowledge required by those working in a range of health and community services environments whose work roles involve a level of interaction with clients that enables them to provide practical demonstration and instruction of oral hygiene practices and techniques


Not Applicable

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Use appropriate oral health care resources to address the needs of the target audience

1.1 Access and provide oral health information as required to address planned outcomes

1.2 Prepare information so that it is relevant to the target audience and use a person-centred approach to identify and respond effectively to individual needs

1.3 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, language, culture, capability and communication needs of the target audience

1.4 Respond to client enquiries or concerns by providing accurate information about oral health issues and risk factors related to oral health, including the importance of diet and nutrition

1.5 Address identified client issues where appropriate by providing information about the importance of regular oral checks, risk factors for oral disease, prevention of oral disease, consequences of oral disease and the need to follow up oral problems

2. Demonstrate and provide information and instruction on oral hygiene techniques and appropriate aids to meet planned outcomes

2.1 Ascertain requirements specific to client by questioning, observing and accessing available information

2.2 Provide accurate instruction in a variety of relevant oral hygiene techniques and demonstrate techniques addressing specific client requirements

2.3 Use standard precautions to address infection control requirements

2.4 Work with clients to ensure effective toothbrushing and soft tissue care with both manual and electric toothbrushes and other oral hygiene aids where relevant

2.5 Demonstrate and provide instruction on the care of partial and full dentures

2.6 Provide instruction on the use of fluoride toothpaste and the option of topical self-care products, advising clients to further discuss with their oral health care practitioner as appropriate

2.7 Provide support in a person-centred manner that engages the target audience, provides a basis for making informed decisions and encourages them to actively participate and ask questions

2.8 Provide opportunities for participants to demonstrate learned skills

2.9 Encourage clients to follow effective oral hygiene practices and make positive knowledge, attitude and behavioural changes

2.10 Maintain client confidentiality in line with organisation and legislative guidelines

3. Follow up and reinforce oral health information and instruction

3.1 Implement a review strategy to determine the effectiveness of the oral health information and instruction and whether planned outcomes were met

3.2 Implement changes to oral health information and instruction processes based on review outcomes

3.3 Regularly update and maintain records of oral health care programs delivered 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

Broad understanding of oral hygiene techniques, including for soft tissues and natural and artificial teeth

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

Client-specific issues such mental health, disability, age and general health

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 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


Essential knowledge (contd):

Modifications to oral health information related to special needs due to disability, aged care, child needs, language and culture

Oral disease and broad treatment options available

Oral hygiene aids and the associated use and advantages of each

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

Organisation policies and procedures and legislation relating to client confidentiality and infection control

Own role in client health education

Person-centred practice

Relevant evaluation criteria for monitoring effectiveness of oral health care program

Saliva and its role in the maintenance of oral health:

acting as a lubricant

delivering calcium, phosphate and fluoride to the tooth surface

protecting teeth by neutralising acid

The interaction between oral health and general health

The role of properly constructed and fitted mouth guards in preventing oral injuries

Essential skills:

It is critical that the candidate demonstrate the ability to:

Adapt information, communication and delivery techniques as necessary to meet the needs of individuals and specific groups in the provision of oral health information and practical instruction and demonstration of oral hygiene practices and techniques

Carry out effective oral health self-care practices

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

Use a person-centred framework to apply fundamental motivational and learning skills

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

Evaluate how well target audience has understood information and instruction provided

Use initiative in finding opportunities to promote oral health care

Use relevant technology, including information technology safely and effectively


Essential skills (contd):

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 supervisors

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.

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

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 may refer to:

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

Person-centred refers to:

Involving clients in discussions about service delivery options and issues

Involving clients in informed decision-making relating to their care/service

Listening to and addressing complaints

Obtaining informed consent

Providing effective service delivery

Putting clients, carers and their preferences at the centre of service delivery

Oral health issues may include but are not limited 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 caries

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

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

Risk factors for oral disease 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 in the development of dental caries, 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 on oral soft tissues

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

Prevention of oral disease 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 disease 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 hygiene techniques may include, but are not 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 techniques

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 carers, young children and babies

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

Use of other specific oral hygiene aids when specified in client's oral health care plan

Appropriate aids may include:

Alcohol-free mouthwash

Face mirror for client

Interdental brushes

Range of manual and electric toothbrushes

Range of oral hygiene aids e.g. mouth props

Range of toothpastes

Standard precautions refer to infection control which includes:

Wash hands before and after oral care

Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE):

eye/facial protection e.g. glasses/face shield




Disposal of PPE

Toothbrushing may include:

Using currently accepted methods to clean:

natural teeth

fixed and removable prostheses

soft tissue

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

Reduced frequency of snacking

Use of strategies to minimise harm from licit and illicit drugs


Not Applicable

Employability Skills

This unit contains Employability Skills

Licensing Information

Not Applicable