Oral health

Oral Health campaign poster

Brushing your child's teeth is one of the best things you can do to keep them healthy - the correct dental care can almost entirely prevent:

  • painful tooth decay
  • infections
  • distressing extractions

Helping your child to brush their teeth can be a challenge, but it’s worth persevering - you can make a game of it, or use a fun tooth brushing app - download Brush DJ!

Oral health top tips

Helping your child with a good oral hygiene routine sets them on the path to good dental habits for life:

  • start to brush your child’s teeth as soon as they appear
  • brush their teeth for them and supervise brushing until at least the age of 7
  • brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, in the morning and before bedtime
  • encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste, but not rinse
  • for children under 3 use a smear of toothpaste; for those over 3 use a pea-sized blob
  • try to reduce the amount of sugar your child consumes
  • sugary drinks are particularly harmful to teeth, so encourage your child to drink milk or water
  • use sugar-free medicines where possible
  • register your child with a dentist and take them for regular checkups - remember, NHS dental care is free for children - search for a NHS dentist in your area
  • fluoride varnish can be painted onto your child’s teeth to strengthen and protect them, and it’s free – ask your dentist for details

Further information

Download our ‘Superhero’ child oral health campaign poster and child oral health leaflet. For further information visit the NHS Choices website.

For early years and primary schools, the British Dental Health Foundation provides free Dental Buddy activity and lesson plans.

Also see

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