Children at participating schools under the NSW Health Primary School Mobile Dental Program will receive a dental checkup and preventive care package at their first appointment.

Dental check-up

Comprehensive examination

A comprehensive examination includes a check of your child’s teeth and gums and a risk factor assessment for dental disease.  It is an effective way of detecting dental disease and is necessary to create a plan to promote good oral health for your child.

A dental practitioner will perform a thorough check of your child’s teeth and gums using a small mirror and probe.  They will discuss the importance of oral health with your child and how to keep their teeth healthy.  This will include advice on foods and drinks for healthy teeth and tips on tooth brushing and oral hygiene.

It is standard practice in NSW Health public dental clinics for all primary school children to have a growth assessment during their dental check-up as a part of good clinical care.  This will involve a simple height and weight measurement of your child.  It is relevant to assess growth during dental check-ups as some risk factors for oral diseases may be shared with being below or above a healthy weight.

Your child’s privacy and wellbeing is extremely important and ensuring your child feels comfortable is a priority for our dental teams.

Dental x-rays

Dental x-rays are safe for people of all ages.  If you provide consent, the dental practitioner will assess your child’s teeth and decide if dental x-rays are needed.  If they are needed, two small x-rays are usually taken.  If dental problems are detected, additional x-rays may be required.

Dental x-rays help dental practitioners to check for dental disease.  They significantly increase the detection of tooth decay compared with visual examination alone.

Preventive care package 

Dental clean

A dental practitioner may gently clean your child's
teeth to remove plaque (soft film of bacteria) and calculus (hard mineral deposits and staining) that build up on the teeth over time.

Is it safe?

Yes. In some cases a clean can cause temporary discomfort or bleeding gums. Maintaining good oral hygiene is important following a professional clean.

What are the benefits?

The removal of plaque and calculus helps to promote healthy gums and teeth.

Fluoride application

Fluoride varnish is a sticky paste that is applied to the teeth to help prevent tooth decay. It contains high concentration sodium fluoride, a mineral that can strengthen tooth enamel (the outer layer of the tooth). A dental practitioner will apply a small amount of the varnish to clean, dry teeth using a brush, probe or applicator. Children will be asked to avoid eating for one hour after application. As part of this program, children may receive up to two applications of fluoride varnish per year. 

Is it safe?

Fluoride varnish is safe and is commonly used when treating children and adults. Adverse effects, including the risk of ingestion and toxicity, are extremely rare. In the event of any adverse effects, the layer of varnish on the teeth may be removed by brushing and rinsing with water.  

What are the benefits?

Fluoride varnish is clinically proven in the prevention of tooth decay.

Fissure sealants

A fissure sealant is a resin or glass ionomer based coating that a dental practitioner may apply to the grooves of your child’s teeth. The fissure sealant forms a barrier to prevent food and plaque accumulation, protecting against tooth decay. Fissure sealants may not be needed for children if they:

  • are at low risk of tooth decay
  • do not have grooves or pits in their teeth

Is it safe?

Fissure sealants are safe and are commonly used in children.  

What are the benefits?

Fissure sealants are clinically proven in the prevention of tooth decay.

Current as at: Tuesday 2 July 2019