Oral Health

Historically Islington has had high levels of tooth decay among children.  However, over recent years, a lot of work has been done locally to improve children’s oral health and rates of tooth decay have declined.  Despite this, there are still vast inequalities in children’s oral health, with tooth decay being strongly associated with deprivation. This, and the fact that tooth decay is largely preventable, makes tackling it a priority for services working with children in Islington.

Healthy teeth are important for healthy eating; severe tooth decay can cause pain, infections, sleep deprivation, days off school and affect self esteem. 

Useful resources to use in your setting and to share with parents/carers include:


First tooth, first visit

Children should see their dentist as soon as they get their first tooth. NHS dental treatment is free for all children under 18. First tooth, first visit encourages parents to take their child to teh detnist early:


Teeth4Life programme

Across Islington, Early Years settings are introducing supervised tooth brushing (Teeth4Life), where children are encouraged to brush their teeth every day after lunch, under the supervision of staff.  As part of this they are taught the correct techniques, as well as the importance of tooth brushing as part of good oral health. For more information please contact Islington's Oral health promotion adviser Obuko Obiuwevbi Tel 020 3317 2431.

More information for practitioners and settings can be found in the Teeth4Life programme protocol or on the Teeth4Life video


Flouride varnish programme

The community Flouride varnish programme runs only in Islington at present and is designed to improve the dental health of young children. Islington has one of the highest levels of child tooth decay in London and stark inequalities exist across the borough.

Fluoride varnish is proven to be a safe and effective way of preventing tooth decay.

The programme involves a team of staff from Whittington Health Dental Services visiting schools to apply the varnish to children whose parents have given consent. For further information see the parent leaflet.


Useful links

NHS - oral health and dental health information 

Find your nearest dentist

 Westminster have launched a campaign to tackle poor oral health, including a short animation, lesson plan and other resources.


Islington contacts

Oral health promotion adviser

Obuko ObiuwevbiTel 020 3317 2431

Mouth hygiene / Oral health

Islington directory