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Raising Awareness of Supervised Toothbrushing Programmes in the Community

To promote the uptake of supervised toothbrushing programmes it’s important that settings and families are aware of existing schemes and what they look like and aim to do. The provider and setting can each engage in various efforts to raise awareness of supervised toothbrushing programme and maintain momentum. The following section presents some recommendations based on our discussions with providers, settings, staff and parents. 

 

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  • Are the resources shown on the website free to use and can I share the link to this website with others?
    Please share the website with others who would find it useful. The included resources are free to use. Please download and adapt for your setting while acknowledging the contribution of those who originally developed them.
  • Does this website provide any free toothbrushing supplies or staff training?
    No, these are supplied by supervised toothbrushing programmes. For interested settings (schools and nurseries), please contact your local authority early years teams or oral health promotion team for further information.
  • Do you have information for parents translated in other languages?
    Yes, the parents’ page has useful resources about children’s oral health. These include resources translated into different languages.
  • When should children brush their teeth at nursery or school?
    As part of a toothbrushing club, children should brush their teeth on a daily basis. The time of day will be decided by nursery or schools to fit in with the timetable and minimise disruption. It is critical that taking part in a toothbrushing clubs is in addition to children brushing their teeth at home. Parents and families should continue to brush their child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. The timing should be last thing at night and at one other point in the day. An important tip for parents to make sure toothbrushing is as effective as possible is to encourage children not to rinse with water after brushing, but just to spit out if needed. Rinsing with water after brushing washes the fluoride in the toothpaste away.
  • How does the supervised toothbrushing session work?
    Each session should take approximately 10 minutes. The children brush their teeth for 2 minutes under staff supervision. After brushing, they will be asked to spit out any excess toothpaste from their mouth into a paper towel.
  • How are children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) supported?
    Supervised toothbrushing programmes for children with SEND require tailored staff training and more support. For example, there are fluoride toothpastes available that are flavourless and do not foam which are useful for children with sensory sensitivities.
  • Are supervised toothbrushing programmes recommended for younger children (2 years old and under)?
    Supervised toothbrushing programmes are not usually run with child under the age of two years. Children of 2 years of age or younger need an adult to support them with toothbrushing. This is beyond the remit of nursery or school supervised toothbrushing programmes.
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