Early Childhood Oral Health Research Symposium

Monday, July 11, 2016


Presented by the Oral Health CRC and the Melbourne Dental School, University of Melbourne

Wednesday 28 September 2016

Thank you to all symposium speakers who have kindly made their presentations available in order to share their research findings and help inform ongoing discussions about methods for improving the oral health of young children.

These presentations are the intellectual property of the presenters, and should not be reproduced or altered in any way without the express permission of the presenter.

Professor Mark Gussy, PhD, MEd

'Natural History of Childhood Caries'


Dr John Rogers, BDSc, MPH

'Dental hospitalisation of Victorian school children - distribution, determinants, impacts and policy implications'


Dr Chris Bourke, MLA, BDSc

'Early childhood oral health in Aboriginal communities'


Professor David Manton, BSCs, MDSc, PhD, FRACDS, FICD, FADI

''New methods of caries risk assessment and management in children'


Professor Stuart Dashper, BSc (Hons), PhD

'Salivary biomarkers of early childhood caries'


Melbourne Laureate Professor Eric Reynolds AO, PhD, BSc Hons, FICD, FTSE, FRACDS

'Remineralisation and prebiosis in caries management'


Dr Felicity Crombie, BDSc (Hons), PhD, M Clin Ed

'Current evidence on the diagnosis and treatment of hypomineralisation'


Associate Professor Rodrigo Marino, BDSc, MPH, PhD

'Evaluating remote care by tele-dentistry'


Symposium Declaration

At the conclusion of the symposium, speakers and delegates agreed on a Symposium Declaration. After some discussion, the following was agreed upon as an accurate reflection of the views shared by participants at the symposium:

Childhood Oral Health Declaration, Melbourne, 28 September 2016

At an Early Childhood Oral Health Research Symposium hosted by the Oral Health Co-operative Research Centre and The Melbourne Dental School at The University of Melbourne on Wednesday September 28th 2016 it was concluded that oral disease remains a substantial health issue for many Australian children and their families today, especially those of indigenous background.

Oral disease is associated with pain, discomfort, impairment of growth and development and is a significant cost to families and the Australian health system. There is an inequitable distribution of oral disease and its severity in our community, with families in disadvantaged situations carrying the heaviest burden. There is a need for greater focus on  evidence-based primary prevention, early detection and minimally invasive treatment of oral disease.

This symposium presented evidence on and considered solutions to the poor oral health of many families in our community.

This declaration, agreed to by the symposium participants, affirms there be:

·Recognition of oral health as a fundamental component of general health involving collaboration with other health providers

·Extension of population health preventive measures such as community water fluoridation programs, oral health promotion and education

·Better labelling of food and drink, particularly those marketed to children, to inform consumers of a product’s ‘tooth safety’

·Population-level measures to reduce sugar consumption, such as a sugar tax

·Extension of preventive initiatives with partners in early childhood and ante-natal settings to improve oral health

·Action to address the inequitable distribution of oral disease and its impact

·Acknowledgment of the impact national reconciliation can play in improving the oral health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children

·Establishment of Australian guidelines of indications for Dental General Anaesthetics

•Increased funding for research into disease aetiology, prevention and evidence-based management regimens and its translation into policy and practice.