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Dental Health

All children are entitled to free NHS dental treatment.

Take your child to the dentist regularly to make sure their teeth are healthy and developing well. 

Looking After Your Child's Teeth 

From brushing their first tooth to their first trip to the dentist, here's how to take care of your children's teeth.
A regular teeth-cleaning routine is essential for good dental health. Follow these tips and you can help keep your kids' teeth decay-free.
Toothbrushing tips
It's important to use a fluoride toothpaste, as this helps prevent and control tooth decay.
Children aged up to 3 years
  •  Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later).
  • Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing.
  • Brush teeth twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and on 1 other occasion.
  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Use only a smear of toothpaste.
  • Make sure children don't eat or lick toothpaste from the tube.

Children aged 3 to 6 years

 

  • Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
  • Brushing should be supervised by a parent or carer.
  • Use children's fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1,000ppm of fluoride (check label) or family toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Use only a pea-sized amount of toothpaste.
  • Spit out after brushing and don't rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won't work as well.

 

Children aged 7 and over

 

  • Brush at least twice daily for about 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush last thing at night before bed and at least on 1 other occasion.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste containing between 1,350ppm and 1,500ppm of fluoride (check label).
  • Spit out after brushing and don't rinse – if you rinse, the fluoride won't work as well.
  • Children aged 7 and over should be able to brush their own teeth, but it's still a good idea to watch them to make sure they brush properly and for about 2 minutes

 

How to help children brush their teeth properly

  • Guide your child's hand so they can feel the correct movement.
  • Use a mirror to help your child see exactly where the brush is cleaning their teeth.
  • Make tooth brushing as fun as possible by using an egg timer to time it for about 2 minutes. You could also try the https://www.nhs.uk/apps-library/brush-dj/
  •  Don't let children run around with a toothbrush in their mouth, as they may have an accident and hurt themselves.

 

Taking your child to the dentist

 

  • NHS dental care for children is free.
  • Take your child to the dentist when their first milk teeth appear. This is so they become familiar with the environment and get to know the dentist. The dentist can advise you on how to prevent decay and identify any oral health problems at an early stage. Just opening up the child's mouth for the dentist to take a look at is useful practise for the future.
  • When you visit the dentist, be positive about it and make the trip fun. This will stop your child worrying about future visits.
  • Take your child for regular dental check-ups as advised by the dentist.

 

 

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