Professional Resources

Oral Health

Promotion of good oral health from health services, and from settings can support children and young people to care for their teeth and avoid painful dental problems. In England almost one in four children has evidence of tooth decay.

  • Each affected child will have on average 3 to 4 teeth requiring treatment.
  • Children from the most deprived areas can suffer double this level 9 out of 10 hospital tooth extractions among children aged 0 to 5 years could have been prevented.
  • These children are likely to experience pain, infections and trouble eating and sleeping. They may well miss school as a result.

For those settings supporting children and young people with additional needs and disabilities it is worth noting they may face additional challenges in maintaining oral health. For example 80% of adults with Down’s Syndrome have unhealthy teeth and gums. Practices established in childhood will significantly impact their wider health and wellbeing in adulthood.

Dive Deeper

In Professional Settings

Health education is a statutory requirement in settings and this should include oral health. 

Around a third of children do not attend a dentist and so it is difficult for key messages on oral health to be shared.

Settings can play a key role in educating children and young people to avoid foods and drinks that exacerbate tooth decay. Limiting access to sugary foods & drinks in canteens, vending machines and tuck shops is one way of supporting children to make good decisions

Children and young people need to understand the importance of good oral hygiene habits and techniques and settings can fill the knowledge gap for young people using the resources available.

Some children and young people in your setting may clearly have poor dental health. If parents and carers are not supporting them to access care for this it may be part of a wider picture of neglect and the setting's safeguarding policies should be followed.


Oral Health Foundation

Resources for use in schools:

Key stage 1 oral health

Key stage 2 oral health


Lesson plans on healthy teeth


'All Our Health' offer free, bite-sized e-learning sessions - to improve the knowledge, confidence and skills of health and care professionals in preventing illness, protecting health and promoting wellbeing. The sessions cover some of the biggest issues in public health including;

  • Childhood obesity 
  • Pollution
  • Alcohol misuse
  • Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

They contain signposting to trusted sources of helpful evidence, guidance and support to help professionals embed prevention in their everyday practice.

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