Promoting a healthy smile in Nursery - National Smile Month


With the changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage emphasising the importance of ‘good oral hygiene’ settings need to ensure that they promote good oral hygiene both in setting and support families at home.

From May 16th until June 16th 2022, National Smile Month is in full flow, but how can settings ensure that we don’t just focus the spotlight on a once-a-year event and make sure that the oral hygiene conversation and education are threaded throughout everyday best practice?

It is well documented that during the early years children’s experience of oral health can impact the rest of their lives.  That’s why starting to teach them about healthy choices and good habits from an early age can help prevent the impact of tooth decay.

According to Gov.UK, nearly a quarter of five-year-olds in England have tooth decay and extraction of children’s teeth is the most common reason for hospital admission for children under the age of ten. Children in more deprived areas can miss up to 26% of school time due to dental pain and infection.

At a population, school or early years’ level, evidence tells us that brushing each day at school, pre-school or nursery over a 2-year period is effective in preventing tooth decay and can establish lifelong positive behaviour to promote oral health.

Promoting oral health needs to be provided within early years settings and how you decide to implement this is your choice, you may want to focus on linking oral hygiene into areas you already cover in your setting:

  • Self-care
  • Healthy eating & choices
  • Importance of physical development

You can suggest they brush the teeth of dolls or soft toys, read stories about teeth and smiles, discuss healthy foods and drinks that help to grow strong teeth, as well as introduce supervised teeth brushing in your setting.

You can also support parents to encourage good oral hygiene at home, by letting them know what you’ve been doing in nursery to promote oral hygiene.

To learn more about oral hygiene for children, you can book your place on our next Oral Hygiene webinar and start exploring how you improve and promote oral hygiene in everyday practice!

Busy Bees Education and Training is passionate about early years and offer a wide range of CPD courses, apprenticeships, and free webinars specialised for Early Years Professionals. 

To attend our next Oral Hygiene Webinar you can book your place here: Book Oral Hygiene Webinar