Prevention and Management of Dental Caries in Children is designed to assist and support primary care practitioners and their teams in improving and maintaining the oral health of their young patients from birth up to the age of 16 years. It aims to provide clear up-to-date guidance on what to do, when to do it and how to do it. It includes advice on:

  • assessing the child and family
  • helping the family and child manage dental care
  • delivery of preventive care based on caries risk
  • choosing from the range of caries management options available
  • delivery of restorative care, including how to carry out specific treatments
  • referral and recall
  • management of suspected dental neglect
  • working with other agencies to support and safeguard the wellbeing of children and young people

The second edition of the full guidance has been updated to take account of recent evidence. Recommendations for caries prevention in children are primarily based on the evidence on which the Scottish Intercollegiate Guideline Network (SIGN) guideline 138 Dental Interventions to Prevent Caries in Children is based.

Recommendations on the management of dental caries have been expanded, with a more comprehensive approach to management of children’s primary and permanent teeth and management techniques presented in a separate section.

Further details about SDCEP and the development of this guidance are available via the  SDCEP website.

As guidance, the information presented here does not override the clinician’s right, and duty, to make decisions appropriate to each patient with their valid consent. It is advised that significant departures from this guidance, and the reasons for this, are documented in the patient’s clinical record.