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The Programme

Teeth Team is a child dental health improvement charity that includes a school-based supervised tooth brushing programme, clinical dental assessments and signposting for accessing primary and secondary dental care.

About our supervised tooth brushing programme

The Teeth Team programme provides in-school oral healthcare to primary schools across the country. This includes a supervised tooth brushing programme that takes place in the classroom at a time organised to best suit lesson times. It also includes the application of a fluoride varnish to help prevent decay over the coming months, in addition to a clinical assessment from a dental professional.

It’s a wonderful way for schools to ensure that all of their pupils are receiving the dental care they deserve in order to have the best start in life. Plus, it’s easy to sign up for and completely FREE!

Why it matters

“I love the fact that the children do get to brush their teeth while they’re at school, because I’m aware that some of them don’t at all at home.”

Jade Vincent, Francis Askew Primary School Teacher

“It has made a real difference to these children. They need to be on the same level as everybody else to have the same chances. I do think it gives them aspirations.”

Ruth Murray, Headteacher, Francis Askew Primary School

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How it works

Step 1: Talking to staff

Before we can get going with our supervised tooth brushing programme, we give an Oral Health Education (OHE) talk to school staff. This talk includes showing teachers and classroom assistants how to safely maintain the toothbrush racks and a good cross-infection control policy when it comes to tooth brushing.

Step 2: Talking to the class

During the first session of our supervised tooth brushing programme, we give the class an Oral Health Education (OHE) talk that explains what we’re going to do and why cleaning their teeth properly is so important! We then show children how to brush their teeth using a dry brushing technique. This uses minimal toothpaste and a dry toothbrush to ensure there is no froth and mess. A timer is played and the children brush for two minutes before mouths are wiped with disposable paper towels. There is no rinsing as this lessens the positive effects of fluoride, and ideally this dry brushing technique should be used at home too.

Step 3: Applying fluoride varnish

Fluoride varnish is a pleasant-tasting gel that is applied to teeth to help strengthen them and prevent decay for several months. We provide a fluoride varnish consent form for parents or carers to sign in advance. Our dental nurses visit each school twice a year and apply the varnish to the children whose parents/carers have given consent.

Step 4: Assessment

One of our dentists will pay a visit to each school twice a year to carry out basic examinations and check the children’s teeth. A letter with further advice will be sent home if any further dental need is identified.