Promoting oral health in early years is essential to protecting young teeth and establishing good habits. It is also a requirement of the EYFS guidelines: “All settings must promote the good health, including oral health, of children attending the setting.”
There are three main themes in good dental health:
- Keep sugary and acidic food and drinks to mealtimes
- Brush teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
- Visit the dentist regularly
Have a look at our checklist for ways to promote oral health and visit our Early Years page in the downloads section where you’ll find many ways to bring these messages to the children and their families.
Your snacks and drinks provided in between meals – are they tooth friendly? Visit the Early Years downloads page for tooth friendly and tooth unfriendly posters to use on site and to share with parents.
How you use food and drink as part of celebrations and for marking cultural festivals is important, as sugar frequency can increase due to birthdays, religious/cultural celebrations and learning themes, you can help by having some guidelines about how these are celebrated in a tooth friendly way. Visit the Early Years downloads page for a sample policy document.
Activities for the children can also be downloaded to engage them in learning about taking care of their teeth. This includes a book list, dental role play and other ideas.
Share information with parents and carers via social media messages, the snacks and drinks posters, tips to help with teeth brushing and a brushing chart that you can print and give to them to support with twice daily brushing.
Consider doing supervised toothbrushing with the children once during your day. A guidance document is available in the Early Years downloads section and please contact us to discuss free training and support.
Below are our top picks for toothbrushing videos to use in class/preschool:
*Remember to put the correct amount of toothpaste on the toothbrush though! Pea sized for children aged 3+ who can spit out and grain of rice size for those who are not able yet!*
Finny the Shark
The Tooth Brushing Song
Dr Ranj and Supertooth star in two short videos that you can share all about caring for children’s teeth: