I'm pregnant. Can I get free NHS dental treatment?

Yes. Dental treatment is free to pregnant women and for the first year after your baby's born. All you need to do is take a MatB1 certificate or NHS prescription maternity exemption certificate to your dentist as proof. You can get these either from your GP or from a registered midwife via form FW8.

Are dental x-rays harmful to my unborn baby?

You can still have dental x-rays when you are pregnant - your dentist may still ask you whether you are pregnant, or wether you might be, just to check in case you would rather not have an x-ray taken at that time.

When should I start brushing my child's teeth?

Good dental health from an early age will set your child up for life. As soon as the teeth start to come through, you should start brushing them. You can buy special brushes for babies and make sure you use fluoride toothpaste. For children up to the age of 3 you should use a smear of toothpaste containing no less than 1000 ppm fluoride, for 3-6 year olds a pea sized blob of 1350-1500ppm fluoride toothpaste and for the 7s and over, 1350ppm fluoride toothpaste or above. Your dentist or hygienist will be able to show you how best to brush your child's teeth - plus it's worth getting your child used to going to the dentist from an early age.

Should I stop my baby from sucking its thumb and can I use a dummy?

If your child sucks its thumb or on a dummy for long periods, it could cause problems in the way the teeth develop. The pressure of the thumb or dummy against the back of the teeth could push them forward, which may mean your child will need corrective treatment - like a brace or having teeth removed - later on.

Try to wean your child off sucking its thumb or a dummy, treating it as part of the growing up process. Never be tempted to dip your child's dummy in anything, especially something like sugar or fruit juice. Prolonged contact with the teeth could cause real damage.

How early should I start taking my child to the dentist?

As early as possible! The more your child is used to the sights and sounds of the dental practice, the more comfortable they're going to feel about going.



British Dental Association