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Oral Health Improvement


The aim of Childsmile is to establish a solid foundation of good oral and dental health from birth which will contribute to improved dental health for Scots throughout their life:

Childsmile delivers the programme in four parts, core, nursery, school and practice

  • Childsmile Core provides toothbrushes and toothpaste to children at intervals up to primary 1 and makes provision for supervised tooth brushing at all nursery schools and in primary schools in the most disadvantaged communities
  • Childsmile Nursery provides the application of fluoride varnish to children in the nursery school setting, targeting those in the most disadvantaged areas
  • Childsmile School provides fluoride varnish in the primary school setting targeting those in the most disadvantaged areas
  • Childsmile Practice involves the health visitors risk assessing children for poor oral health at an early age and enrolling them in the programme. Families are provided with advice on oral health and nutrition by the dental health support worker who also facilitates registration with a local dentist.

Priority Groups

The Scottish Government launched a National Oral Health Improvement Strategy for Priority Groups on June 21, 2012. The strategy sets out a number of measures to prevent oral disease in adults who are particularly vulnerable to poor oral health, building on the work of the Childsmile programme which has been rolled out across Scotland to improve the oral health of children:

The strategy identifies ways in which people across health and social care can work together to improve the oral health of frail older people, those with special care needs or who are homeless.

We are investing £1.45 million annually to improve the oral health of vulnerable groups across Scotland.