Take care of your teeth

Here's how you and your children can have healthy teeth and keep trips to the dentist to a minimum:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Read more about how to keep your teeth clean.
  • A healthy lifestyle, including eating well, not smoking and limiting your alcohol intake, is good for your whole body, including your teeth, gums and mouth. Read more about why a healthy lifestyle is good for your teeth.
  • Help your child have healthy teeth for life by establishing a good dental health routine. Read more about how to look after your children's teeth.
  • It's important to have regular check-ups with your dentist.  Don't put off going for a check-up. Detecting problems early can mean they're easier to treat. If problems are not treated, they may lead to damage that is harder, or even impossible, to repair. Read more about dental check-ups.

For information on who can get free dentistry, how to find an NHS dentist and what to expect from your dentist, see NHS dental services.  

Common dental Q&As

Read the answers to the most common questions about NHS dentistry.



Page last reviewed: 02/12/2013

Next review due: 02/12/2015


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The 4 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

ETrundleford said on 11 October 2012

Unfortunately the politicians have taken the entire population for mugs, and sadly they were right to do so.

NHS dentistry pays below the cost of doing treatment well, so therefore if you do go to an NHS dentist it is impossible for them to take the care of your teeth that the politicians would have you believe that you are getting.

For example, to do a root canal treatment well on a molar tooth has been estimated, in a report commissioned by the NHS, to cost the dentist £238, without taking home a penny.

Do you know what the pay is for that in England? £0.

So, if it costs £238 to do, and the dentist makes no additional income by doing it, how long do you think a business would last if they were to do root canal treatments rather than take teeth out? And guess what happens? The dentists either offer to do it privately or only offer extraction. Sure, some dentists do root canal treatment on molars within the NHS, but often using cheap instruments and rushing it.

The shambles begins and ends with the funding mechanism.

And the public desire to see dentists paid a pittance. The antipathy towards the profession is what is driving the antipathy from the profession.

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katdes said on 07 November 2010

If you do hit the lottery of gaining access to a good NHS dentist then we should not forget the astronomical costs they charge which most people are unable to afford- Im sorry to say the NHS dentistry division has become an out of control, poorly regulated, free market shambles where the only motivator is money- not the treatment required.

Ironically this will cost the NHS more in the long term with greater a&e visits and other side effects of poor dentistry service, but of course that is of no concern to the money grabbing dentist. Apologies all good NHS dentists- wherever you may be hiding!

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Disillusioned Elle said on 31 July 2008

I rang the primary care trust today, to be told, I can get a bus to north East Cornwall, the other side of Cornwall from West Cornwall where I live to find an NHS Dentist. I said I would stay here and die withourt treatment. The NHS Dentist is a waste of time in UK.
Disgusted with service (no service)

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jen said on 24 March 2008

It's no good telling us to visit our dentist regularly when it's nigh on impossible to get one in the first place!

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Services near you

Find addresses, phone numbers and websites for services near you

Finding an NHS dentist

Find out how to find an NHS dentist, including where to seek help if you have difficulties locating one in your local area

Dental check-ups

How often you need a dental check-up, and what to expect when you visit your dentist

Help with dental costs

Find out what you are entitled to and how to get help with NHS dental charges

Dental health

How to care for your teeth, including check-ups, brushing, braces and whitening