Children's Dental Health

Ensuring good dental health from an early age is very important. It stands children in good stead for the long term health of their teeth and gums.

Whether it's brushing their first tooth, developing a teeth cleaning routine, or the first trip to the dentist, there are plenty of ways you can support your child to keep their teeth healthy and their smile bright!

Keep Suffolk Smiling Logo

The Keep Suffolk Smiling Project is commissioned by Public Health Suffolk and has been running since January 1995. The intervention is delivered by Health Visitors during their 8-12 month assessments for new births. The health visitor provides parents with a dental health pack which contains a toothbrush, toothpaste, health promotion leaflet and reward chart. The leaflet contains advice regarding brushing technique/frequency, the harms of sugary drinks, attending the dentist, and the benefits of introducing a trainer cup before the child’s first birthday.


What support is available?

The Health Visiting service will provide parents with a toothbrush, toothpaste and health promotion leaflets at the 8-12 month check. The leaflets contain advice regarding brushing technique and frequency, the harms of sugary drinks and snacks, attending the dentist, and the benefits of introducing a trainer cup before the child’s first birthday.

Parents who live in areas with the highest levels of tooth decay and tooth extraction will receive more than one tooth brush and tooth paste. Currently, these areas are Waveney, St. Edmundsbury and Forest Heath.

All parents visited from March 2015 to February 2017 were asked to complete a questionnaire which aimed to measure knowledge and practice relating to tooth brushing behaviour, use of dentists, consumption of sugary drinks and bottle use. This was completed at the 8-12 month and 2-2½ year visits.

*Please note the advice on page 3 of the Keep Suffolk Smiling leaflet has been revised to 'Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly. Their first check-up should have taken place by their first birthday' as per the Chief Medical Officer's recommendation.

Where can I find out more information?

NHS Choices has a wide range of information and guidance relating to the care of children's teeth.

Read our information about the Health Visiting Service where you live.

Dental check by one – is the campaign by the Office of the Chief Dental Officer, these resources are patient focused and include posters and leaflets. These can be downloaded from the British Society for Paediatric Dentistry.