Children’s dentist visits: Advice and support

When should children first visit the dentist? How can you teach good oral hygiene? Can children see the dentist for free?

Sometimes, being a parent can feel like a steep learning curve. But when it comes to your child’s smile, we’ll be by your side every step of the way. From your first trips to the dentist, to teaching how to brush solo and what to expect at each stage.

Free NHS children’s check-ups

Free NHS dental care is available to under 18s, and under 19s still in higher education. This includes two annual check-ups as well as general services such as fillings and hygiene appointments.

Contact your nearest practice offering NHS care

Alternatively, children can see the dentist or paediatric dentist (a dentist specialising in treating children) on a private basis.

When should children first visit the dentist?

You should start taking your little one to the dentist after their first milk tooth appears. Their dentist will look out for any oral health concerns and can advise how to avoid tooth decay. 

To book your child’s first dental visit, contact your local practice.

Tooth decay in children

Tooth decay means permanent damage to a tooth, and it’s one of the top dental problems found in children. In fact, a survey showed almost 25% of five-year olds had experienced obvious tooth decay.*

Milk teeth (baby teeth) are more susceptible to decay because they have much softer and thinner enamel (the outer layer of a tooth). If your child has a high intake of sugary or starchy foods, this increases their risk further.

The good news is decay is preventable. A good oral hygiene routine and regular visits to the dentist will help protect your child’s smile.

And while baby teeth aren’t permanent, they’re vital for speaking, eating, and guiding new adult teeth into position. So, it’s essential to take good care of them.

Advice for every stage of childhood

Encouraging good oral hygiene habits early on won’t only help dentist visits run smoothly, it can set your child’s smile up for a bright and healthy future. But there’s more to it than brushing for two minutes, twice a day.

Our handy guides can help you every step of the way. Find out the facts for your child’s age group and access tips about caring for their smile.

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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