What happens in nurseries and schools

The Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School programmes deliver a range of preventive care interventions for children from nursery age 3 years until they leave primary school who are at increased risk of dental disease. Fluoride varnish is applied twice yearly in priority nurseries and schools in each Health Board.

3.4_toothbrushing in nursery

Targeting oral health inequalities: priority nurseries and schools

Nurseries and schools participating in fluoride varnish and P1 and P2 toothbrushing are identified to be the establishments who's children would benefit from preventative interventions. They will be selected on the basis of the proportion of children attending the establishment who live in areas of relative disadvantage. Childsmile uses the definition from the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD).

How are Childsmile Nursery and School Programmes delivered?

  • Supervised daily toothbrushing programmes in all nurseries and priority schools.
  • Oral health education for children in schools and nurseries.
  • Advice and information for parents and carers to help them care for their child’s teeth.
  • Free dental packs, with toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Fluoride varnish applications to children’s teeth twice a year in priority nurseries and schools.


See Childsmile Core for information on the Toothbrushing programme: National Standards and find links to resources and guidance.

Fluoride varnish

Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School provide twice-yearly fluoride varnish application for priority nurseries and schools.

Key components:

  • admission is by consent form, usually given out either at the time of nursery enrolment or during Childsmile consent meetings
  • twice yearly fluoride varnish applications to children’s teeth
  • opportunity to update medical history and personal details every six months.

For background on fluoride and why we use it, you can read Why use Fluoride varnish?.

Childsmile teams

These consist of Extended Duty Dental Nurses (EDDNs) and Dental Health Support Workers (DHSWs).

EDDNs apply fluoride varnish to children’s teeth.

DHSWs are attached to identified nurseries and schools, and provide the main dental contact point for teachers, parents and school nurses.

They meet with the head teachers and organise suitable dates and times for consent meetings (if applicable) and the six-monthly fluoride varnish application visits.

Consent forms

Admission to the fluoride varnish programme (Childsmile Nursery and Childsmile School) requires parental consent.

Childsmile will contact you to update your child's medical history and personal details every six months.