Dental Care

Healthy teeth and gums

Gum disease and tooth decay are the two most common causes of tooth loss. You can avoid unnecessary tooth loss or fillings by keep your teeth healthy.

Here are some top tips for healthy teeth –

  • brush at least twice a day
  • brush for at least three minutes
  • replace your toothbrush on regular intervals
  • avoid too much fizzy drinks and sugary drinks as these can cause your teeth to decay
  • go for check up with the dentist every six months
  • use mouthwash before you brush your teeth

You can find more information about taking care of your teeth and gums on the NHS website  

Registering with a dentist

In order to ensure your teeth are regularly maintained, it is important that you register with a dental surgery so that you can have regular check-ups.

You can find your nearest Dentist by using the NHS service tool Find a dentist

Once you have registered, your dentist will make an appointment with you every six months to check how your teeth and gums are doing.

It is important to try and keep your appointment with the dentist. If you are unable to attend your dental appointment, contact the dental surgery so that you can rearrange the appointment.

If your dentist spots something wrong with your teeth or gums they will recommend a course of treatment. You may be required to attend an additional appointment for any dental work or treatment you require.

Help paying for dental treatment

You are entitled to free dental treatment if you are –

  • aged under 18, or under 19 and in qualifying full time education
  • pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
  • staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • an NHS hospital dental service outpatient – you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges

You are also entitled if you or your partner – including civil partner – receive, or you are under the age of 20 and the dependant of someone receiving –

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit Guarantee Credit
  • Universal Credit and meet the criteria

You can find out more about Dental charges on the NHS website.

More on dental charges here (Opens in a new window)


For more information about Childrens dental health, see our Children, families and young people’s section.