What you need to know

Bad dental health can lead to stains, bad breath, tooth decay/loss, gum disease and many other problems. These can be caused by incorrect brushing techniques and eating and drinking lots of sugary food and drinks. 

Your dentist can help you with any questions you have about dental health, but most problems can be avoided by proper care of your teeth as a child and young adult.

  • Brush at least twice daily, last thing at night and at least on one other occasion with a fluoridated toothpaste
  • Brush for around two minutes. Try using a timer on your phone or brush to your favourite song
  • Electric toothbrushes often help achieve cleaner teeth
  • Spit out after brushing and do not rinse to maintain fluoride concentration levels
  • Visit your dentist every 6-12 months (if your child wears braces they will visit the orthodontist as well)
  • Avoid too many sugary foods and drinks
  • Wear your retainer if you had braces to correct your teeth. This will keep your teeth straight and help avoid future problems
  • Tell your dentist if you child is having pain with new wisdom teeth. They may need removing if you don't have enough space in your mouth or if they come through at the wrong angle

More information on dental health can be found on NHS Choices. You can also find your nearest dental practice using their search feature.

NHS Choices website

This series of videos from Derbyshire County Council include lots of useful advice:

Keeping your child's mouth healthy

Visiting the dentist

Making brushing children’s teeth easy (and fun)

A balanced diet can help keep your family's teeth healthy