Oral Health

In Newham, we understand that building a foundation for a lifetime of good oral health starts at an early age. Our web page is dedicated to providing you with simple and practical information on how to care for you and your child's precious smile. We believe that by instilling positive oral hygiene habits from a young age, we can help your child maintain a healthy and happy smile for years to come.

We understand that oral health plays a vital role in our daily lives, affecting our ability to eat, speak, and feel confident. Through this web page, we aim to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to take care of your oral hygiene and prevent dental problems.

Healthy teeth tips for children
  • Start brushing your baby's teeth as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through (usually at around 6 months, but it can be earlier or later)
  • Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride. Brushing should be supervised by a parent or carer
  • The best times to brush teeth are in the morning and last thing at night
  • Spit out after brushing – do not rinse with water
  • Try to avoid sugary or fizzy drinks. Plain milk and water are the best drinks for children’s teeth
  • Try to limit the amount of sugary foods offered to your child. Choose healthier snacks such as fresh fruit
  • Choose sugar free medicines where possible
  • Visit a dentist for a dental check by age one or when the first tooth erupts
Where to find a dentist?

There is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area. Simply find a dental surgery that is convenient for you, whether it's near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any appointments available.

You can search for an NHS dentist on the NHS website.

Dental surgeries will not always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients. You may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately.

Once you find a dental surgery, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is so they can add you to their patient database. This does not mean you have guaranteed access to an NHS dental appointment in the future.

Problems finding a dentist

If after contacting several dental surgeries you still cannot find a dentist accepting NHS patients, call NHS England's Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233.

Dental emergency and out-of-hours care

If you think you need urgent care, contact your usual dentist as some surgeries offer emergency dental slots and will provide care if clinically necessary.

You can also contact NHS 111, who can put you in touch with an urgent dental service.

Do not contact a GP, as they will not be able to offer urgent or emergency dental care.

When to go to A&E

Only visit A&E in serious circumstances, such as:

  • severe pain
  • heavy bleeding
  • injuries to the face, mouth or teeth

If you're not sure whether you should go to A&E, contact NHS 111, who will be able to advise you.

Fluoride varnish in schools

Fluoride, when applied to the teeth by a dentist, helps to strengthen children’s teeth.

Fluoride varnish is offered to all children in Newham who are in nursery, reception and year 1. It is also offered to all children who attend one of Newham’s special schools.

To sign up for the fluoride-varnishing programme, you will need to complete the consent form that is provided to you by your school.

Additional information

Kent Community Health has developed a range of resources on the topic of oral health including factsheets, booklets and videos for:

  • Parents
  • Parents of children with special needs
  • Adults with special needs and their carers
  • Health and social care professionals
  • Early years providers
  • Schools
  • Care homes

Kent Community Health NHS website


Last updated: 01/06/2023

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