Nationally, a quarter of 5 year olds have tooth decay when they start school. Tooth decay is largely preventable. Poor oral health can affect children’s ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with other children. Early Years settings can support good oral health by running supervised toothbrushing, reminding parents that children should brush twice a day and enjoy a diet low in sugar.
Child Dental Health resource from Public Health England’s Health Matters sets out clear guidance on how to prevent tooth decay in young people
Delivering better oral health: an evidence-based toolkit for prevention by Public Health England and the Department of Health
Improving oral health: supervised toothbrushing programme toolkit by Public Health England
Advice and resources
As soon as teeth erupt in the mouth they should be brushed twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste. Parents or carers should brush or supervise toothbrushing. The frequency and amount of sugary food and drinks should be reduced to protect teeth. From six months of age infants should be introduced to drinking from a free-flow cup, and from one year feeding from a bottle should be discouraged.
Hampshire’s Saving Smiles programme for Early Years settings is delivered by Solent Oral Health Promotion Team.
Dental Hygiene advice from Wessex Healthier Together
Looking after your children’s teeth factsheet from Institute of Health Visiting to download
A quick guide to a healthy mouth in children by Public Health England
Oral Health problems and solutions PACEY blog by Public Health England’s Jenny Godson
Oral Health Foundation Dental Buddy Early Years Foundation Stage resources and lesson plans
Growing Up with Healthy Teeth video by HENRY
Managing sugar intake
Children's Oral Health Advice. This short module provides information and advice about children’s oral health. It is aimed at parents, expectant mothers, early years healthcare workers, teachers, nurses, GPs and the public. Delivered by e-Learning for Health.