Caries Prevention

Refer to Section 7 of the full guidance.

Key recommedations

Provide all children with personalised oral health promotion advice.
(Strong recommendation; moderate quality evidence)

Encourage and support all children to brush their teeth, or to have their teeth brushed for them, at least twice a day using fluoride toothpaste, including recommending:

  • the use of both an amount of toothpaste and a fluoride concentration appropriate for the child’s age and caries risk level
  • supervised brushing until the child can brush their teeth effectively
  • that children do not rinse their mouths after toothbrushing (‘spit, don’t rinse’)
    (Strong recommendation; high quality evidence)

Advise all children and their parent/carers about how a healthy diet can help prevent caries, at intervals determined by their risk of developing dental caries.
(Strong recommendation; moderate quality evidence)

For all children, place fissure sealants on the permanent molars as early as possible after eruption.
(Strong recommendation; moderate quality evidence)

For all children aged 2 years and over, apply sodium fluoride varnish at least twice per year.
(Strong recommendation; moderate quality evidence)

  • If the child is at increased risk of developing caries, in addition to Standard Prevention, ensure they receive Enhanced Prevention, unless there is valid reason not to. In this case, ensure this is documented in the patient’s notes.
  • Consider the use of action planning to encourage compliance with preventive advice.
  • For children at increased risk, utilise community/home support for toothbrushing and dietary advice and to encourage attendance for dental care.