Childsmile Programme Aberdeen City




Pippa Robbie took up post as the Childsmile Co-ordinator for Aberdeen City CHP in January 2009 and is based within the Aberdeen CHP Public Health Team and Dental Management Team.

Childsmile is a national programme designed to improve the oral and general health of children in Scotland, and reduce inequalities, both in dental health and access to dental services.

It is funded by the Scottish Government and has three main elements:

  • Childsmile Core Programme – known as the Toothbrushing Programme within Grampian
  • Childsmile Practice
  • Childsmile Nursery & School

The Childsmile Core Programme

Available throughout Scotland. Every child is provided with a dental pack containing a toothbrush, 1000 ppm fluoride toothpaste and an information leaflet, on at least six occasions by the age of 5 years. Children also receive a free-flow feeder cup by the age of 1 year through the Health Visiting service.

In addition, every 3 and 4-year-old child attending nursery, whether it be a local authority, partner-provider or private nursery, is eligible to be offered free, daily, supervised toothbrushing within their nursery establishment. Supervised toothbrushing is also available to targeted Primary 1 and 2 classes of schools situated in priority areas. The Childsmile Core Programme promotes a holistic approach to healthy living and teaches children an important life skill. Children who attend nurseries, schools, childminders and after-school clubs should be offered healthy snacks and drinks as part of national initiatives to improve dental health and reduce childhood obesity.

Childsmile Practice

Introduced to families by the public health nurse/health visitor, and followed up by the dental health support worker (DHSW) when children are around 3 months old. The DHSW provides early advice on the importance of looking after first teeth and assists families to find and register with a local Childsmile dental service for their child. Additional support is available through home visiting, community initiatives and primary care dental services. For the most vulnerable families, a longer period of home support may be required, prior to engaging with dental services.  From 6 months of age, dental appointments are made for the child on a regular basis.

A programme of Childsmile care, tailored to meet the needs of the individual child, is provided by the dental team.  This includes: oral health advice, for example, on healthy weaning, teething and tooth brushing instruction; provision of free dental packs; and, from the age of 2 years, annual dental checkups and twice-yearly fluoride varnish applications to the child’s teeth. Children registered with dental services for Childsmile Practice will continue to attend this service throughout childhood.  Extended duty dental nurses (EDDNs) are trained in oral health promotion and fluoride varnish application to support the dental team to provide Childsmile care.

Childsmile Nursery and School

Delivers a range of preventive care interventions for children aged 3 and upwards who are at increased risk of dental decay.  Childsmile dental teams provide twice-yearly fluoride varnish applications to children’s teeth within the educational establishment. These teams are composed of EDDNs (trained in the application of fluoride varnish) and DHSWs.  It is important that children are also registered to attend primary care dental services. Children identified through Childsmile Nursery and School as not having a dentist will be encouraged and helped to register with local dental services.

It is envisaged that every child in Scotland will have access to dental care through Childsmile Practice and Childsmile Core Programme.

Additional preventive care will be targeted through Childsmile Nursery and School. Children who have not already joined Childsmile Practice at birth will have other opportunities to become involved as they begin nursery and primary school.

 Childsmile provides integrated dental care for children during their early years, until they are 6 years old.

For further information on the Childsmile Programme please contact Pippa on or telephone 01224 – 550085.

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