Children at High Risk of Poor Oral Health

August 9, 2022 9:09 am
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Children are to be taught to clean their teeth in their Early Years of Education as tooth decay in early childhood is on the rise…

Teaching children to brush their teeth in early year settings is a scheme that has never been in place before, although in recent months The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has said that local authorities should be commissioning a tooth brushing programme within early year care provisions. NICE has said it would mainly be necessary for underprivileged areas and areas where children are more at risk of poor oral health, but it would still be required across the board.

Under the new programme, staff should oversee children brushing their teeth every day and communicate with parents to get them to encourage their children to brush their teeth at home.

This has come from the fact that thousands of children are admitted to hospital every year to have their teeth taken out, this has risen by 14% in the last 3 years and a recent survey proved that tooth decay affects around 12% of children aged at just three years old!

These facts then lead to questions such as, ‘are children really being taught at home how to correctly brush their teeth?’ and ‘are extra enforcements required in early years education to help implement the importance of it?‘

I have gathered together a few helpful learning pointers taken from that may assist you along the way to improving dental hygiene in young children…

  • Diet plays an important part in preventing tooth decay, limiting sugary food and drinks to four times a day, at meals and one snack.
  • Water and milk are the only drinks that should be offered between meals and snacks.
  • All drinks should be taken from a cup or glass, not a bottle.
  • Tooth brushing should begin once the child’s first teeth have erupted.
  • Toothpaste should always contain fluoride.
  • An easy way to brush a toddler’s teeth is from behind. Toddlers should not run around with a toothbrush in their mouth in case they fall and suffer an injury.

So how open are you to implementing this scheme into your setting, do you feel this is still very much a parental duty or are you happy to partake? We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!

Please find the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) full report below for further information on this:

Head over to,day%20with%20a%20fluoride%20toothpaste for ideas on how to promote oral health within your setting.