Understanding oral health beliefs and practices among Cantonese-speaking older Australians Academic Article uri icon


  • AIM: The present study was conducted to explore how older immigrants from Hong Kong or Southern China manage their oral health in Melbourne. METHODS: We used six focus groups involving 50 Cantonese-speaking immigrants who were 55 years and over and living in Melbourne. RESULTS: Four major themes relevant to oral health care emerged from the discussion: (i) traditional Chinese health beliefs; (ii) traditional medicine and oral health; (iii) attitudes towards dentists; and (iv) access to oral health-care services. Language, communication and cost of dentistry were identified as major barriers to oral health care. CONCLUSION: Older Chinese immigrants in Melbourne have concerns about oral health care that are similar to other ethnic groups, they want more oral health-related support from government, and many of they return to China or Hong Kong for dental treatment.

publication date

  • March 2010