The Challenge

Children’s oral health remains a major concern in modern society. The figures speak for themselves:

It’s important that the dental profession does what it can to help tackle these this alarming trend. The First Smiles campaign by the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT) is designed to encourage the whole team to get involved.

BSDHT First Smiles (in partnership with Oral-B)

On Friday 12th June 2020, BSDHT will run First Smiles 2020 – in partnership with Oral-B – to help dental teams engage with their local communities and raise awareness of the importance of oral health among the younger generation. We lay down the gauntlet to you and ask you to go into your local schools and nurseries to deliver oral health education and teach young people (as well as their parents, guardians and teachers) how to better care for their dental and general well being. 

We're delighted that in partnership with Oral-B, we are able to produce a Resource Pack for each child which will include a sticker, a certificate and a reward chart!!  Oral-B are also providing some toothbrushes. (Please note that resources will not be available until 1st week in June).

First Smiles aims to:

Over to you!!  

Whether you decide to teach children about brushing techniques, design games to highlight the importance of dental health routines for long-term health or talk about the dangers of sugar, your contribution could make a huge difference to the lives of the children you see.

Step 1: Download our Introduction to First Smiles for all the info

Step 2: Read our FAQs to answer any queries you might have

Step 3: Allocate time on the 12th June 2020 (or a more convenient day around this time) to visit your group of children

Step 4: Download our template letters for schools or community teams dental teams to send to your local organisation of choice and our BSDHT First Smiles Leaflet

Step 6: Take a look at resources to help you with your visit, such as: 

Step 5:  Design a proposal of what you'd like to do and discuss 

Step 6:  Submit Request for Resources - Let BSDHT know how many Oral-B toothbrushes and resource packs you’ll need using the short form below (scroll down).   There will be a limited number of toothbrushes available so they will be despatched on a first-come, first serve basis.  Please complete the form below - we'll need all the information on the form to complete your order!! 


  1. Submissions are required before 22nd May 2020.
  2. Free resources will not be available until 1st week in June.    

Step 7:  Have a great time getting to know the local kids and making a difference to their dental and general health for years to come.          

Participants from previous years share their amazing experiences:  

“The First Smiles day was super and we all had a great time. The kids dressed up in gloves and masks, we talked about looking after our teeth, visiting the dentist and sugars in food.”Kate Paddock

“It all went really well and we really enjoyed our visit to the nursery. We tried to make it as enjoyable and interactive as possible. We did role play and got each child to have a go at brushing – this was a great success.” – Anita Hirani

“The feedback I had from parents was lovely and some of the children that hadn’t been to the dentist before were asking their parents to take them – in fact the children were really enthusiastic and very motivated. This is a fantastic opportunity for our dental profession to get out there and keep our kids smiling.” Joanne Martin



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[i] Public Health England. Guidance, Child oral health: applying all our health. Updated 4 August 2017. [Accessed February 2018]

[ii] Public Health England. Public health profiles. [Accessed February 2018]

[iii] NHS Digital. Hospital admitted patient care activity, 2016-17. Summary [Accessed February 2018]