Most dental practices with an NHS contract should be able to carry out a first dental check for your baby before the age of one. The Dental Check by One campaign was established by the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) in partnership with the Office of the Chief Dental Officer for England to ensure all children see a dentist as their teeth come through, or by their first birthday, at the latest.
Since its launch in 2017, Dental Check by One has attracted the support of health visitors, doctors, school and nursery nurses and pharmacists. Statements of Support for DCby1:
“The opportunities and benefits of Dental Check by One are a vital element in addressing health inequality and securing a smile for life for every child. Working together with families, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry and the dental profession we are taking a major step forward in realising our ambition of a generation of children cavity free."
Sara Hurley CDO England
“Going to the dentist early allows parents/carers to be given evidence based preventive advice on how to care for their children such as reducing the consumption of sugar in foods and drinks and brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.”
Jenny Godson, Chair of Public Health England's Child Oral Health Improvement Programme Board
“Developing a good oral hygiene routine with regular trips to the dentist starting at an early age is really important. “The number of operations taking place to remove teeth in children in hospitals, often due to tooth decay, is deeply concerning. Yet regular dentist trips can ensure tooth decay is tackled at an early stage, and avoid the need for far more invasive treatment in hospital later on. “Councils across the country are working with their communities to promote the importance of children having good oral hygiene, but clearly we need to take a national approach to the issue. Poor oral health can affect children and young people’s ability to sleep, eat, speak, play and socialise with others. Having good oral health can help children learn at school, and improve their ability to thrive and develop.”
Cllr Izzi Seccombe, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board
“Data analysed by the Faculty of Dental Surgery earlier this year, showed that 80% of 1 to 2-year-olds didn’t visit a dentist last year. NHS dental care is free for under-18s, so there really is no excuse for this staggering statistic. However, we know from parents we speak to that there is widespread confusion, even in the advice given by NHS staff, about when a child should first visit the dentist. “We welcome the ‘Dental Check by One’ campaign being launched today. It’s a great step towards dispelling confusion, getting children comfortable in a dental environment and ensuring their teeth are checked at an early age.” Professor Michael Escudier, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at The Royal College of Surgeons of England
“We are pleased to support DCby1. We have been involved with this campaign since it was on the drawing board, and we would urge any members who have capacity to get involved.” Henrik Overgaard-Nielsen, The British Dental Association’s Chair of General Dental Practice
“Dental decay is the most common non-communicable disease worldwide yet it is totally preventable. It has long being recognised that a child’s first cavity is the most important one and sets the pattern for life so early intervention allows an opportunity to stop this trend before it starts and bring a halt to the shocking levels of tooth extractions in young children. “ Dr Nigel Carter, Chair of the Oral Health Foundation
“This is a vital campaign. General Dental Practitioners are children’s first point of contact with a dentist, but unfortunately decay is often present at a first visit, as many parents are simply unaware of the need to establish good oral health and dietary habits as soon as teeth appear, or unaware that NHS dental checks are free for children. An early visit allows dentists and practice teams to give the right advice, and develop a lasting relationship with parent and child to enable children to live a life without decay. We strongly encourage GPs, Health Visitors and others with early contact with young families to help get this message across.” Dr Mick Horton, Dean of the Faculty of General Dental Practice (UK)
“Many good habits - and bad – are established in childhood, so encouraging children into a routine of regularly attending the dentist from the earliest possible age is a really sensible move. “Dental health can be a good indicator of general health and dental problems can highlight the risk of problems elsewhere. If children are seeing a dentist regularly, it will undoubtedly help their personal wellbeing and prevent - or identify at an early stage - disease and illness that could add unnecessary pressure to GP workload and the wider NHS further down the line.” Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Royal College of GPs
"Good oral health is important. Tooth decay is entirely preventable, but two-fifths of 5 year old children in the UK have tooth decay, with children from deprived populations particularly vulnerable. Tooth decay is the most common reason why children aged 5 to 9 require admission to hospital. "Access to timely primary dental care, coupled with good oral hygiene and low sugar consumption are important for reducing tooth decay in children. Prevention has to start early so we absolutely support the campaign to ensure all children in the UK have their first dental check-up by their first birthday." Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health
“Baby teeth have an important role in maintaining spaces for permanent teeth. If baby teeth are extracted early, the child is more likely to have problems with their teeth when they are older, making orthodontic treatment more complex. Getting your child to a dentist by the age of one for their first dental check is a really important first step in the journey towards a healthy adult smile.” Richard George, Director of External Relations for the British Orthodontic Society
‘We are delighted to support this phenomenally important campaign. The great sadness about the appalling statistics for children suffering dental caries is that this is a disease which is totally preventable with the right nutrition and early preventive advice from dentists. Lets make the UK the country with the lowest levels of dental caries in children and highest dental attendance.’ Dr Cheryll Adams, Director of the Institute of Health Visiting
"BADN supports the Dental Check by One campaign and believes that it’s the responsibility of the whole dental team to welcome families into dental practices. It’s through working together, dental professionals and society at large, that we can reduce dental decay in children and the unacceptably high level of general anaesthetics for tooth extractions.” Jane Dalgarno, President of the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN)
"The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy fully supports the Dental Check by One campaign as we recognise the importance of early dental education intervention and how this can benefit children and their families. A visit to the dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist when the child’s first tooth appears will ensure that methods of keeping the teeth healthy, such as suitable foods and how to care for the mouth, can be discussed. Bringing a child into a dental practice at an early age will also help the child become comfortable with the dental environment. The statistics for 2015/16 demonstrate that there were 9,220 cases of children between the ages of one and four needing extractions – this is unacceptable, especially as this disease is preventable. Dental hygienists and dental therapists are at the forefront of prevention and fully encourage the parents of young children to seek dental checks as soon as teeth appear.” Julie Deverick, President Elect of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy
“The Society welcome the launch of DCby1. There is much confusion out there about when a child should first see a dentist. We know that if we can introduce this sense of commitment from an early age that a child will have a great start towards a healthy mouth going forwards. After all, poor oral health has been identified as having an impact on a child's ability to sleep, eat, speak and play and has the potential to affect their early education either directly or indirectly. Lets support parents, carers and allied professionals by raising the profile of this message - DCby1. “ Fiona Ellwood, Patron of the Society of British Dental Nurses
"We live in a changing dental economy and some of our most vulnerable groups are at significant risk of dental disease as evidenced by the current dental health of children in the United Kingdom. "Dental Check by One will help support families in delivering significant dental awareness alongside the Childsmile campaign. "Hopefully this will change the worrying trend in general anaesthetics for children of our civilised society by instilling preventive attitudes early on in life. "This campaign is long overdue and is fully supported and endorsed by the Faculty." Professor Fraser McDonald, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Surgeons of England
CPPE recognise the importance of good oral health and feel there should be a consistent message from all healthcare providers . We believe that pharmacy professionals are in a good position to offer information to parents and carers surrounding good oral health. For these reasons we fully support DCby1 and encourage pharmacy teams to spread the word.
RCPSG is very happy to support the DCby1 initiative. This early intervention will ensure that the correct preventive oral health advice is given to parents as the primary teeth are erupting. This early initiative will prevent the huge social inequalities and burden of decay that results in over 70,000 children per year in the UK needing dental extractions in Hospital under GA. Professor Graham Ogden, Dean of the Faculty of Dental Surgery at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow