Smile Month to turn that frown upside down in Tameside

Date Released - 16/05/2024

Residents are being encouraged to brush up on their oral hygiene routine to protect their smiles from tooth decay and gum disease.

One in three 5-year-old children in Tameside are affected by tooth decay, which can lead to pain and infections affecting eating, speaking, school readiness and learning. Tooth decay is the main reason that children aged 5-9 are admitted to hospital each year for dental extractions.

As part of the Tameside Council-backed Smile Month campaign, running from 13 May to 13 June, the council’s Public Health team are working with partners across Tameside to increase awareness of and importance in looking after our oral health through all stages of life. Family Hubs can provide advice and information to families on buying fluoride toothpaste.

Oral health is important at every stage of life, and people’s needs change over time. The council want to ensure that children get the best start in life when it comes to their oral health. Oral health impacts on general health and wellbeing, so individuals need to ensure that adults receive the appropriate care and advice into later life.

There are four key messages for better oral health:

Parents should start to brush their child’s teeth as soon as the first one appears. Use the correct amount of fluoride toothpaste (a smear for 0-3-year-olds and a pea-size amount for 3 – 6-year-olds) and get them into a regular daily oral hygiene routine. They can make toothbrushing fun by using apps, watching videos, listening to songs, or using timers.

Cllr Eleanor Wills, Tameside Council Executive Member for Population Health and Wellbeing, said: “We're committed to nurturing healthy smiles across Tameside, especially amongst our youngest residents. Through initiatives like Smile Month, we aim to support families with the knowledge and tools to prioritise oral health at every stage of life. Let's brush away tooth decay and gum disease together, one smile at a time.”

Anyone who doesn’t have a dentist and needs emergency care should call the Greater Manchester Emergency Dental Care Service on 0333 332 3800. To see a list of any available NHS dentists, use the following link:

For any other information on oral health, visit