Find a local NHS dentist on NHS Choices.
Information on the latest charges can be found here
Dental health in the UK among adults and children is better than ever before.
Our dental health has improved in recent years because we're taking better care of our teeth.
Thanks to the widespread use of fluoride toothpaste, which helps to prevent and control decay, the number of adults with none of their own natural teeth has fallen from 37% in 1968 to 6% in 2008.
Children's teeth are also healthier than ever. Twelve year olds in England have the best teeth in Europe and 6 out of 10 children start school with no tooth decay.
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. For advice on how to look after the teeth of children under six, see Teeth and teething.
- 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.
- Help your child have healthy teeth for life by establishing a good dental health routine.
- It's important to have regular check-ups with your dentist. For information on how to find an NHS dentist, who's eligible for free dentistry and what to expect from your dentist, see NHS dental services.
When should my next dental check‐up be?
Visiting your dentist regularly is important. But how often you need to go for a check‐up will depend on how healthy your mouth, teeth and gums are and whether you’re at risk of future problems.
Your dentist will tell you how often you need a routine check‐up. If your teeth, mouth and gums are in good health, you may only need to see your dentist every two years (or every year if you’re under 18).
You do not need to attend every six months but if you have problems with your teeth, you will be asked to come back more often.
What are the charges for NHS dental treatment?
Information on the latest charges can be found here. Please do check when contacting the dentist that you are being seen as an NHS patient, and request a treatment plan following consultation.
Why is a check‐up important?
It lets the dentist see if you have any problems and helps you keep your mouth healthy.
What happens at each check‐up?
At each check‐up your dentist should:
- Examine your teeth, gums and mouth
- Ask about any problems you’ve had with your teeth, mouth or gums
- Give you advice on your teeth cleaning habits and healthy lifestyles, including giving up smoking and cutting down on drinking alcohol
- Discuss a date for your next visit
Can I see a dentist between check ups?
Yes of course. If you have problems with your mouth or teeth between planned check‐ups contact your dentist to ask for an appointment.
In an emergency outside normal working hours, you will hear a message on your dental practice’s telephone explaining how to get emergency dental care or call NHS 111.
More information on looking after your teeth can be found on NHS Choices.