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Toothbrushing at Nursery and School

Toothbrushing at Nursery and School Poster 

Designed to Smile supports supervised toothbrushing for children in some nurseries and primary schools in Wales.  Children brush their teeth every day in school or nursery with fluoride toothpaste, to help prevent tooth decay.

This is not instead of brushing at home twice a day, but as well brushing at home.  You should still brush your child's teeth twice a day at home and children are given their own free toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to use at home.

Each nursery or school programme is organised in a safe and effective way. There is a lead person who is responsible for the toothbrushing programme.

Staff are given a detailed training programme and checks are carried out at least once a term against national standards of best practice.

A ‘family’ fluoride toothpaste containing 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm) fluoride is used in the programme for over 3’s.  A small pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste is used.

A toothpaste containing 1000 ppm fluoride is used for under 3’s.  A small smear of fluoride toothpaste is used.

The toothpaste manufacturer used by Designed to Smile has confirmed that the products are free from any animal derivatives and suitable for use by vegetarians.

Important Points!

  • The children are always supervised when brushing 
  • Each child has their own labelled toothbrush
  • Toothbrushes are replaced at least once a term or earlier, if needed
  • Children have the correct amount of toothpaste put onto a dry toothbrush, then brush for about two minutes
  • Children are discouraged from swallowing toothpaste during or after brushing. They should spit out excess but not rinse 
  • Each toothbrush is rinsed thoroughly before being stored away safely for next time

picture of brush bus

How is cross-contamination prevented?

  • Staff wash their hands thoroughly before and after each toothbrushing session
  • Each child has their own labelled toothbrush
  • Toothbrushes are cleaned after use and stored safely
  • Toothbrushes are stored in a special secure system to avoid them touching each other
  • All storage equipment is washed weekly with warm soapy water and replaced if cracks, scratches or rough surfaces develop
  • Toothbrushes are routinely replaced for wear and tear or if accidently dropped
  • Cleaning methods are adhered to as written in the cross infection control protocol
  • Quality Assurance visits are carried out to ensure the programme is practiced correctly