Taking care of your mouth, teeth and gums with good oral and dental hygiene can help to prevent bad breath, tooth decay and gum disease.

  • Brush your teeth last thing at night and on at least one other occasion each day with fluoride toothpaste. Spit the toothpaste out but don't rinse. If you rinse, the fluroide won't work as well.
  • Floss or use an interdental brush every day to remove food, debris and plaque.
  • Cut down on sugar, eat well, don't smoke, limit alcohol - it's good for your whole body, including your teeth, gums and mouth.
  • Brush baby teeth as soon as they come through, with a smear of fluoride toothpaste on a baby toothbrush. Here are some tips on how to look after baby teeth, including the importance of avoiding sweetened foods and drinks.
  • Children don't need to use children's special toothpaste. Children of all ages can use family toothpaste, as long as it contains 1,350 to 1,500ppm fluoride.
  • Have regular dental check-ups - detecting problems early means they are easier to treat.

Finding a dentist

Everyone should be able to access good-quality NHS dental services. 

Simply find a dental practice that's convenient for you, whether it's near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any appointments available. 

If after contacting several dental practices you still can't find a dentist accepting NHS patients, you should call NHS England on 0300 311 2233

Local services and support

Growing up with healthy teeth this free 2-part video has been developed with the Leeds School of Dentistry to support parents with easy-to-understand information to protect children’s teeth and avoid decay. 

Other useful sources of information