Supporting information

  • The toothpaste provided to nurseries and schools as part of the Childsmile Core programme is free from animal derivatives.
  • Whilst it is usually recommended that toothbrushing should not directly follow the consumption of acidic foods or beverages, it is acceptable for establishments providing toothbrushing programmes to opt to brush at any time throughout the day. In these circumstances, it is considered that the benefits of decay prevention outweigh concerns about dental erosion and abrasion.
  • Children are discouraged from actively rinsing their mouths after toothbrushing. Rinsing the mouth after toothbrushing significantly decreases the benefits of fluoride.
  • Storage systems should be washed with household detergent and warm water as this removes the vast majority of relevent microoganisms. Disinfectant wipes or sprays are not recommended for storage systems.
  • Rough surfaces, including labels on storage or dispensing systems, can encourage the growth of harmful microorganisms. Damaged racks therefore need replacing.
  • Individual toothbrush ventilated holders can be used for storing brushes, although most establishments involved in toothbrushing programmes elect to use a toothbrushing storage system. If individual holders are used, ensure that excess water is removed from the toothbrushes before returning them to the holder. The Standards apply equally to individual holders as to the storage systems.
  • While some tap water supplies in nursery and school settings are not technically of drinking water quality, they are considered suitable for rinsing toothbrushes as the water is not ingested.
  • Ideally, nurseries and schools participating in the toothbrushing programme should have sinks available that are designated for toothbrushing and personal hygiene. Sinks should be cleaned after use.
  • Nurseries and schools involved in toothbrushing programmes should have an abreviated version of the Standards on display for reference.
  • Local monitoring of toothbrushing programmes by Childsmile staff should take place twice per school year. (Standard 1) Organisation page). Monitoring should include observation of the toothbrushing session; discussion of the Standards with the key nursery or school lead; feedback to the local Childsmile Coordinator and arrangement of a follow-up visit.
  • There are very few medical reasons why children should not participate in supervised toothbrushing programmes. In specific cases where there is a medical diagnosis of infection or oral ulceration, children may be temporarily excluded from the programme. Toothbrushing at home can continue as this will usually aid healing.
  • If parents inform the nursery of specific medical conditions (for example, cystic fibrosis, blood-borne viruses) the risk for individual children can be discussed with the public health nursing staff who support the school.
  • Ideally all paper products should be recyclable and biodegradable.