Oral health

Why it's important to keep our teeth and mouths in good health

Healthy teeth, gums and mouths are essential. Without good teeth it’s hard to eat and speak properly and dental problems can stop you looking and feeling good. To keep your dental health up to scratch everyone should follow these steps:

  • Get a dental check-up at least every two years
  • Brush teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and floss every day
  • Reduce the amount of sugary food and drink in your diet
  • Stop smoking

Children’s dental health

It’s never too early to start caring for your baby’s teeth and good oral health habits are best started young.  Regular visits to the dentist will help your child get used to the sights and sounds of the dental surgery and reduce the likelihood of them developing a fear of going for their check-up.

Dental care is free for children and you should register your baby with a dentist as soon as you can. Other tips for ensuring a healthy smile include:

  • As soon as their teeth appear, help your child to brush them twice a day
  • Take your child for regular dental check-ups from six months old
  • Use the right toothpaste for the age of your child – ask your pharmacist or dentist if you’re unsure
  • Limit sugary food and drinks –including juice - to mealtimes
  • Don’t use feeding bottles for juice – only water and milk
  • Move from a feeding bottle to an open cup as soon as possible
  • Where possible use sugar-free medicines

For more information see the NHS website.

Your dentist

If an NHS dentist accepts a patient for treatment, the NHS will contribute towards the cost of treatment. Dental care for children under 18 and care for expectant and nursing mothers and people receiving income support is free. Other people on low income may be entitled to help with charge. Use the NHS website to search for a dentist in your area.