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Early Years - Oral Health

Why oral health is included in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework

This has been included because good oral health habits need to be formed from the earliest age. Tooth decay is largely preventable, but it’s still a serious problem among young children.


Nearly a quarter of 5 year olds in England have tooth decay, with 3 or 4 teeth affected on average. Tooth extraction is one of the most common procedures for children under 6 in hospital. Extraction is also the most common reason for hospital admission for children aged 6 to 10. Children from more deprived backgrounds are more likely to have tooth decay.


Children who have toothache, or need treatment, may have pain or infections. This can have a wider effect and lead to problems eating, sleeping, socialising and learning.


Promoting oral health in school

Children’s awareness of oral health is supported through activities and experiences that focus upon the importance of a healthy, low-sugar diet; regular tooth brushing and dental check-ups.


Click here to see our Early Years Tooth Brushing challenge!