Image of schoolchildren brushing their teeth


The Oral Health Improvement team deliver a supervised toothbrushing programme in specific schools, nurseries and special schools with higher levels of tooth or dental decay across the Bradford district. The scheme helps to promote good toothbrushing technique and daily fluoride toothpaste use by children in nursery, reception and year 1 classes (aged four-six years). The programme offers daily supervised tooth brushing with the children for two years.

The programme also includes staff training on delivery of the programme, facilitation of quality assurance observations and incorporating the provision of resources to implement.

  • For children three years and under,  brush teeth twice a day with a smear of fluoride toothpaste containing no less than 1000ppm fluoride.
  • For children aged between three and six years brush teeth twice a day using a pea sized amount of  family fluoride toothpaste containing 1350-1500ppm fluoride.
  • Encourage your child to spit out, but not rinse their mouth with water after brushing.
  • Do not give children more toothpaste if they eat the paste from the brush.
  • Children should see a dentist when their first teeth come through of by the age of one.
  • Children should have fluoride varnish applied to their teeth at least twice yearly.

Who can take part in the programme?

The programme is aimed at children attending either nursery, reception, year 1 and special schools. The programme runs over a two-year rolling period in line with evidence-based recommendations from the Department of Health.

How is the toothbrushing supervised in schools?

It is supervised by trained teaching staff that work within the school setting. The Oral Health Improvement team provide training to all staff that deliver the programme annually.

Where does toothbrushing take place?

The children brush within the classroom at a time suitable to staff and children at each setting. Toothbrushing can take place in groups or individually for at least two minutes.

How is the equipment kept clean?

Brush bus - toothbrush holder

Toothbrushes are stored individually in a brush bus and handed to children from members of staff. The fluoride toothpaste is dispensed on to individual paper towels and then applied to each child’s toothbrush. Infection prevention guidelines are followed by all staff when cleaning brushes and equipment.

Should my child continue to brush their teeth at home even though they brush at school?

Yes, all children should continue to brush their teeth twice daily at home. At the end of the summer school term, each child participating in the programme will receive a toothbrush and toothpaste to take home.

Skip to content