Here’s an article  on child dental health which was recently published in the Childcare Professional’ magazine which is aimed at Childminders – How to prevent tooth decay.

The article includes information from the RCS and PHE and  highlights the recent study undertaken with Action for Children on tooth brushing and provides guidance to the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY) members on how to encourage good oral health in their settings.

There is also a feature on the website linking to further tools and guidance. The magazine reaches around 30,000 practitioners – and possibly more as the magazine may be shared among co-childminders and assistants.


Two new publications on oral health have been issued today:

PHE: Improving oral health: supervised tooth brushing programme toolkit

This toolkit is for commissioners and providers of supervised tooth brushing programmes in England.

In 2014, both NICE and PHE published documents that reviewed the evidence of effectiveness of oral health improvement programmes. They both recommended commissioning targeted supervised toothbrushing in early years’ settings. Read Improving oral health: an evidence-informed toolkit for local authorities.

Many local authorities in England already commission such programmes. This toolkit will help commissioners, public health teams and providers make sure their programmes are evidence-based and safe, and have clear accountability and reporting arrangements.

Report: Delivering Supervised Toothbrushing for Two, Three and Four Year Olds in Early Years Settings

Public Health England commissioned this feasibility study of a facilitated toothbrushing and oral health programme. The aim was to support sustained awareness of oral health in 2, 3 and 4 year olds in early years settings as part of the aspiration to achieve a generation free from tooth decay, improve children’s school readiness and give every child the Best Start in Life.

The work is part of PHE’s wider commitment to driving improvements in oral health and reducing health inequalities to reach the ambition of a generation free from tooth decay. Action to achieve the  ambition is being led by the PHE Child Oral Health improvement Programme Board and its work sits within the national priority of ensuring every child has the Best Start in Life.

The report is published on the Foundation Years website and has been developed by Action for Children in conjunction with a supervised tooth brushing commissioning toolkit published by PHE.

A new programme board aims to make sure every child grows up free from tooth decay as part of having the best start in life.

Today (26 September 2016) marks the official launch of the Children’s Oral Health Improvement Programme Board (COHIPB).

Chaired and led by Dr Jenny Godson who leads on oral health improvement at Public Health England (PHE), the COHIPB brings together stakeholder organisations that all have key leadership roles for children and young people, including NHS England, the LGA, the British Dental Association, and the Institute of Health Visiting.

The Board’s ambition is that “every child grows up free from tooth decay as part of every child having the best start in life”. The group’s oral health action plan and 5 high level objectives have been developed and agreed by partners working together following a PHE Best Start in Life oral health roundtable held in July 2015.

The Board’s objectives are to ensure:

  • child oral health is on everyone’s agenda
  • the early years and dental workforce have access to evidence based oral health improvement training
  • oral health data and information is used to the best effect by all key stakeholders
  • all stakeholders use the best evidence for oral health improvement
  • child oral health improvement information is communicated effectively

Although oral health is improving in England, almost a quarter (24.7%) of 5 year olds have tooth decay, and oral health accounts for a huge cost to health services. The NHS in England spends £3.4 billion per year on primary and secondary dental care (2014) (with an estimated additional £2.3 billion on private dental care). Tooth decay was the most common reason for hospital admission in children aged 5 to 9 in 2014/15 with over 26,000 children admissions for an almost entirely preventable disease.

Children’s Oral Health Improvement Programme Board Action Plan 2016 - 2020

Children’s Oral Health Improvement Programme Board
Action Plan 2016 – 2020

An oral health promotion module of the Healthy Child Programme (HCP) will be available shortly, which will sit on Health Education England’s e-learning for Healthcare website. The interactive resource is aimed at the early years workforce including health visitors, nurses and the child health team.

In the following weeks the Board will also launch:

  • a rapid review of evidence on the cost-effectiveness of interventions to improve the oral health of children aged 0 to 5 years
  • a return on investment (ROI) tool for oral health interventions for 0 to 5 year olds
  • an infographic which shows an example of the return on investment of the programmes included in the ROI tool
  • a tooth brushing feasibility report which shows the ease of delivery, acceptance and cost of an early years supervised tooth brushing scheme
  • a PHE toolkit to support supervised tooth brushing programmes in early years and school settings