Skip to main content

Schools and Nurseries

Schools and Nurseries










The support of schools and nurseries is vital to the success of Designed to Smile and improving the oral health of children in Wales. Settings can participate in a number of ways:

1) Participating in the supervised toothbrushing programme

Settings in certain areas of Wales should participate in a toothbrushing programme with full support from the Designed to Smile team up to school year 2. For information about whether your school or nursery can be involved, please contact your local Designed to Smile team.

Toothbrushing at Nursery and School

2) Supporting the Fluoride Varnish programme

The Designed to Smile teams will come to targeted schools and nurseries twice a year to deliver the Fluoride Varnish programme.

3) Delivering oral health education lessons to children

Learning about good oral health care at an early age can benefit children throughout their lives, as dental disease can be prevented and healthy teeth can last a lifetime. There are many ways to provide meaningful learning experiences about oral health  to encourage children to develop good attitudes and habits.  The content and presentation of the lesson should consider age of children, previous knowledge and attitudes, resources and time available.  Key messages to promote good oral health are:

  • Healthy eating and drinking
  • Twice daily toothbrushing with fluoride toothpaste
  • Visiting a dental practice regularly 

This Foundation Phase resource introduces the subject of oral health and healthy eating. It contains activity sheets which can be used as part of lessons to support learning about teeth, creative skills, forming words and developing dexterity.

This Key Stage 2 resource introduces the subject of oral health and healthy eating. It contains teachers’ lesson plans and presentations, and accompanying activity sheets. These support learning about health and biology, food and behaviours, conducting science experiments, creative skills and conveying information.

Designed to Smile Award

In recognition of the commitment and continuing support to the Designed to Smile programme, your nursery or school may be eligible to receive the Designed to Smile award.  A plaque has been developed to showcase your efforts in striving to improve the oral health of young children in Wales.
The criteria for the award:

  • Plaque without badge – for those starting the scheme
  • Bronze badge – those schools who have taken part in the scheme for 1 year
  • Sliver badge – those who have taken part in the scheme for 2 years
  • Gold badge – those who have taken part for 3 or more years

*All levels assume regular brushing

As you achieve the next stage we will award you the corresponding badge.  For more information contact your local Designed to Smile team

Activity sheets


Picture of dragon

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary 

In September 2019, nurseries and schools across Wales joined us to celebrate 10 years of Designed to Smile.  We were so pleased to see all the activities, parties and lessons taking place.  A huge thank you to all the nurseries and schools that entered our national competition of making 10th anniversary cards for Dewi, our Designed to Smile mascot.  We received so many fantastic cards, well done everybody! 


Thinking about the environment

In 2018/19, we conducted an environmental impact assessment of the Designed to Smile programme in terms of carbon footprint and plastic use, as we want to aim for the lowest impact on the environment.

The review estimated that the annual carbon footprint of Designed to Smile is equal to the carbon generated by 140 people taking a return flight from London to Sydney and for every million grams of plastic waste produced in the UK, only 7g is created by Designed to Smile.

It may seem that we use a lot of toothbrushes and paper, but we have discovered that our positive work to prevent tooth decay actually considerably reduces the worse environmental impacts of many patient journeys to dental surgeries and use of equipment to fix decayed teeth.  So we are saving the environment as well as saving smiles!

We encourage all nurseries and schools to try and minimise waste, when delivering the Designed to Smile programme and to support us to ensure the programme is as eco-friendly as possible.