Nursery and school toothbrushing models

These models are guides to providing toothbrushing in establishments, depending on the establishment's facilities.

Model A – Toothbrushing at a sink

  • The supervisor should wash their hands before and after the toothbrushing session to prevent cross-infection.
  • The child (under supervision) is responsible for collecting the toothbrush from the storage system. Discretion should be used if a child has additional support needs.
  • Toothpaste is dispensed following the appropriate methods (See Preventive Practice).
  • Toothbrushing takes place at the identified sink area.
  • Ideally, no more than two children are permitted at each available sink. They should be supervised and encouraged to spit excess toothpaste into the sink.
  • Tissues/paper towels must be disposed of immediately in a bin.
  • Toothbrushes can either be: i. returned to the storage system by each child. The system is then taken to an identified sink area by the supervisor, who is responsible for rinsing each toothbrush individually under cold running water, or ii. rinsed at a designated sink area where each child is responsible for rinsing their own toothbrush under cold running water. The supervisor or the child can be responsible for the control of the running tap.
  • After rinsing of the toothbrushes is complete, the child or the supervisor is responsible for shaking off excess water into the sink. Toothbrushes should not come into contact with the sink.
  • Each child (under supervision) is responsible for returning their own toothbrush to the storage system to air dry. Discretion should be used if a child has additional support needs. Lids should be replaced at this stage provided that there is sufficient air circulation.
  • Paper towels should be used to mop up all visible drips on the storage system.
  • Children should be supervised.
  • Supervisors are responsible for rinsing sinks after toothbrushing is completed.

Model B – Toothbrushing in a dry area

  • The supervisor should wash their hands before and after the toothbrushing session to prevent cross-infection.
  • The child (under supervision) is responsible for collecting the toothbrush from the storage system. Discretion should be used if a child has additional support needs.
  • Toothpaste is dispensed following the appropriate methods (See Preventive Practice).
  • Children may be seated or standing while toothbrushign takes place.
  • After toothbrushing is completed, children should spit excess toothpaste into either a disposable tissue, disposable paper towel or disposable cup.
  • Tissues/paper towels or cups must be disposed of immediately after use in a bin.
  • Toothbrushes can either be: i. returned to the storage system by each child. The system is then taken to an identified sink area by the supervisor, who is responsible for rinsing each toothbrush individually under cold running water, or ii. rinsed at a designated sink area where each child is responsible for rinsing their own toothbrush under cold running water. The supervisor or the child can be responsible for the control of the running tap.
  • After rinsing of the toothbrushes is complete, the child or the supervisor is responsible for shaking off excess water into the sink. Toothbrushes should not come into contact with the sink.
  • Each child (under supervision) is responsible for returning their own toothbrush to the storage system to air dry. Discretion should be used if a child has additional support needs. Lids should be replaced at this stage provided that there is sufficient air circulation.
  • Paper towels should be used to mop up all visible drips on the storage system.
  • Children should be supervised.
  • Supervisors are responsible for rinsing sinks after toothbrushing is completed.