Looking after the health of your mouth and teeth is important whatever your age. As well as visiting dentists regularly, the whole family should have a tooth care routine at home. On these pages we provide details on how to find an NHS Dentist in Portsmouth and how to take care of your teeth at home.
Taking care of your teeth at home
From the moment that the teeth appear it is important brush regularly. Getting children into a good tooth care routine will help them continue to have a healthy smile when they are older.
Caring for your baby’s teeth
The first teeth, sometimes known as milk teeth, begin to emerge through the gums at around six months old. Most children have a full set of first teeth by around two and a half years old. Your baby’s teeth can be affected by tooth decay straight away so start brushing them as soon as they appear.
Clean your baby’s teeth twice a day.
- Use a small smear of children’s toothpaste. See our list of toothpastes with the right amount of protective mineral fluoride.
- Use a children’s toothbrush – they have soft bristles and a small head.
- Sit your baby on your knee with their head resting against your chest. Brush his or her teeth in small circles covering all the surfaces of the teeth.
Caring for your child's teeth
You will need to help make sure your child brushes their teeth correctly until they are at least seven years old.
- Children should brush their teeth twice a day
- Use a pea sized amount of children’s toothpaste with the right amount of protective mineral fluoride. After 7 years old an adult tooth paste can be used.
- Use a child’s tooth brush.
- Encourage your child to spit out the toothpaste.
- Do not rinse with water after brushing.
Caring for your adult teeth
We have most of our permanent teeth by the time we are 13 years old. It is important that we continue to protect them with good tooth care.
- Brush twice a day.
- Use a mouth guard during sports.
- Do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Everyone should visit a dentist regularly, to find out how to make an appointment with an NHS dentist, go to the Finding an NHS Dentist in Portsmouth section.
NHS dental treatment for children is free. If you take your baby to the dentist when their first teeth start to appear your dentist will be able to check that their teeth are developing correctly. They can give you advice on how to care for your baby’s teeth and on teething problems, (when the teeth begin to grow through the gums). It is a good idea to take your child with you to the dentist surgery as this will help them become familiar and comfortable with the surroundings.
You no longer have to register with a dental clinic which mean you can choose any NHS dentist. There is a choice of NHS dental practices in Portsmouth. You can find where new NHS patients are being accepted through the Portsmouth Dental Helpline phone number - just call 111 or click here to go to the website.
Everyone! You can take your child to an NHS dentist from birth, even before they have any teeth. Even if you no longer have your own teeth your dentist will still check the health of your mouth. Your NHS dentist will advise you how often you should have a dental check up. This is usually at least once a year.
Many patients qualify for free NHS dental treatment.
If you are not eligible for free treatment you may still be surprised at how affordable NHS dental prices are. An up to date list of the three dental price bands and what treatments are included in each band is available on the Portsmouth Dental helpline website.
NHS Dental treatment is free if:
You are a child under the age of 18.
You are under 19 and still in full time education.
You are pregnant or a mother with a child under one year.
You are NHS inpatient and treatment is carried out by a hospital dentist.
You receive income based job seekers allowance.
You receive income support.
You receive income related employment and support allowance.
You receive pension credit guarantee credit.
You are named on, or entitled to, an NHS working tax credit exception certificate.
You are named on a valid HC2 certificate.
You may receive partial help towards dental costs if you are named on a valid HC3 certificate.
Your dental practice will need to sign a form confirming you are exempt. You will need to show proof in writing of your entitlement. If you are not entitled to free treatment you claim, you may incur a penalty charge as checks are made on all claims for free treatment.
Details of dental charges can be found on the Hampshire Dental helpline website here