Supervised toothbrushing programs in primary schools and early childhood settings : a scoping review Academic Article uri icon


  • In this article we report the findings of a scoping review that aimed to identify and summarise the range of programs and guidelines available for toothbrushing programs in schools and early childhood settings. Dental caries is one of the most common preventable diseases affecting children worldwide. Untreated caries can impact on child health and wellbeing, development, socialisation and school attendance. Supervised toothbrushing programs in schools and other early childhood settings can be effective in improving the oral health of young children. There is limited understanding of the salient issues to consider when developing such programs or how they are best implemented in real world settings.A scoping review methodology was utilised to provide a summary of the guidelines and programs available. Key search terms were developed, mapped and utilised to identify guidelines and programs across 6 databases and key search engines.We located 26 programs and guidelines that met the inclusion and exclusion criteria for the review. These were collated and summarised across key countries and critical aspects of program development and implementation were identified. Toothbrush type and storage, toothpaste strength and method of dispensing, toothbrush storage, staff training and parental consent are key considerations that varied widely.Guidelines for supervised toothbrushing programs vary within and across countries due to differences in water fluoridation and availability of low fluoride toothpastes. The results of this review provide critical information to be considered when establishing and implementing toothbrushing programs in these settings.

publication date

  • 2017