Delivering Better Oral Health 4th Edition was published on 21st September 2021 by Public Health England and this evidence based toolkit for prevention can be found at:

This updated toolkit just like the previous editions will help both dental teams and wider health and social care professionals alike to provide high quality preventative care and advice to their patients and people in their care.  It can also be used as an evidence-based teaching resource. Would you please pass on to other colleagues and circulate it within your networks?

Highlighting the new key aspects:

  • Delivering Better Oral: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention (fourth edition) has been developed through a wider UK collaboration of experts, frontline practitioners and for the first-time patient representatives
  • It has been published in chapters in a new digital format making it easily accessible on mobile devices
  • The summary tables (Chapter 2) have changed in-terms of the grading of the quality (or certainty) of evidence and strength of recommendations and is based on GRADE (Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluations). It reflects the extent to which the relevant disease-based Guideline Development Group (GDG) is confident that desirable effects of an intervention outweigh undesirable effects across the range of patients for whom the recommendation is intended. Chapter 13 provides the evidence base for recommendations in the summary guidance tables.
  • The tables provide evidence in relation to the prevention of dental caries, periodontal disease, oral cancer and tooth wear. Where appropriate, the tables provide advice according to age and/or specific risk factors.

There is also new content on:

  • infant feeding
  • early detection of oral cancer and more detail on tobacco cessation and alcohol reduction
  • a new table on tooth wear focusing on accelerated tooth wear

In addition, at the end of the tables there are some very useful resources with e-learning opportunities and further guidance on key messages.

Chapter 3, Behaviour Change, raises the importance of this and the latest guidance on approaches to supporting individuals to change their health behaviours is summarised, it also suggests how recent advances in behavioural science can be used by all dental team members, to enhance existing knowledge and skills. This includes an overview of important considerations when supporting individual patients through the process or cycle of change. Practical case studies are available to illustrate how the guidance may be used in practice. The case studies demonstrate how to build rapport and empathy and how to utilise communication tools (OARS, Open questions, Affirmation, Reflective listening, Summarising), raise the issue, build motivation, assess readiness for change and support patients to take the next step.

Research also highlights the oral health behaviours that dental professionals may need to support their patients to change through brief interventions (1):

The new version of DBOH as with the previous editions provides the latest evidence based information on Dental Caries in Chapter 4, Periodontal Disease in Chapter 5, Oral Cancer in Chapter 6 and Tooth Wear in Chapter 7.   

Throughout the new version of DBOH there has been a greater consideration of the oral health of older people and other vulnerable groups.


Delivering Better Oral Health