Common childhood illnesses & well-being
A parent's guide for children aged 0-4

Good oral health

Laying solid foundations for good oral health

The best ways to keep your child's teeth and mouth healthy are:

Encourage healthy eating and drinking:

  • Keep all foods and drinks containing sugar to mealtimes.

  • Snack on fruit and/or vegetables between meals.

  • Drink only milk and water between meals. Keep other drinks to mealtimes.

Encourage regular toothbrushing:

  • Brush twice a day including last thing at night.

  • Use a smear (under three years) or a pea-sized (for over three years) amount of family fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride - check pack for details.

  • Supervise brushing until at least seven years of age.

  • Spit don't rinse after brushing.

Visit a dentist regularly:

  • Children should visit a dentist from birth.

  • Children should be seen regularly at intervals of between three and twelve months.

  • Ask your dentist about fluoride varnish.

  • For help in accessing a NHS dentist for routine or emergency care visit


Dentist says

NHS dental treatment is free for pregnant women, for the first year as a mother and for children. The dental team can offer you further oral health guidance and support and, when your child is old enough the dentist can apply fluoride varnish to their teeth.

To keep your own teeth and mouth healthy do not smoke or use any form of tobacco and keep alcohol consumption to recommended levels.


Only you can stop your child getting tooth decay.


Tooth decay is totally preventable and causes unnecessary pain for your child.


Follow our easy guidance. Contact your local children’s centre for additional support.