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Using behaviour change science to deliver oral health practice: A commentary

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
JournalCommunity Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology
Early online date9 Jun 2022
Accepted/In press27 May 2022
E-pub ahead of print9 Jun 2022
Published9 Jun 2022


King's Authors


The aims of this commentary are threefold; firstly, we summarize changes in oral health behaviour change research and practice; secondly, we identify key barriers and challenges proposing practical ways to overcome them; and finally, we showcase key developments on the global and local stage outlining key opportunities for the future of oral health behaviour change. Not applicable. Advancements, including the Capability-Opportunity-Motivation (COM-B), Motivation, Action regulation-Prompts (MAP) and the Goal setting, Planning and Self-Monitoring (GPS) models have showcased a range of evidence-based opportunities to deliver oral health behaviour change. Despite their merits, oral health behaviour change still faces barriers and challenges that limit its scope, applicability and practicability for oral health professionals. Recent developments on the global and local stage have highlighted the important role oral health behaviour change has to play for the future of oral health. We provide practical examples to show how these advancements can be delivered in practice, noting that learnings from other disciplines can help shape the future of oral health behaviour change. A combination of encouraging signs and recent, positive developments have resulted in an unprecedented focus on oral health behaviour change. Through ongoing and future research, meaningful changes to the oral health of the population through applied behavioural science are in sight.

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