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Brook street school follows the Smile4Life tooth brushing scheme that aims to reduce tooth decay in children, laying a solid foundation for good oral health throughout their lives.


The children in nursery and reception each have their own toothbrush and brush their teeth once a day after snack or lunch time.


Staff in school have been trained by oral health improvement practitioners to deliver the Smile4Life scheme. Our oral health champion is Miss Bulman.

Brushing our teeth!

Tooth brushing and oral health is increasingly important to keep our bodies healthy. To achieve a good level of oral hygiene, you need to brush your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste.

Children under 3's teeth should be brushed with just a smear of fluoride toothpaste. Once your child is 3 years old, this amount can be increased to a pea-sized amount.



What is fluoride?

Fluoride is added to toothpaste to help protect teeth from tooth decay.

Fluoride helps to do this by strengthening the outside of a tooth (enamel) by making it more able to resist the acid in foods, which can cause tooth decay.  


Where is fluoride used?

Dentists recommend that children and adults should brush their teeth using toothpaste that contains fluoride.

Fluoride Varnish: Is another treatment that can be used to help protect against tooth decay. The varnish is painted on the surface of both children and adult's teeth to strengthen them against tooth decay. This is usually done every three to six months by a dentist or dental nurse. Research suggests a 33% reduction in tooth decay in baby teeth when fluoride varnish is applied every 3-4 months by a dental professional.


Some people who are prone to tooth decay may also be prescribed mouthwash, gels and tablets containing higher levels of fluoride by their dentist. You should always ask a dentist first if you think using these products will help you or your family.

Brushing Teeth


This week in continuous provision we have been brushing the play teeth. We talked about how we keep our teeth clean and healthy and about how its very important that we visit the dentist regularly. The children have really enjoyed role playing being dentists and cleaning the teeth.

Dry January


Dry January means going alcohol-free for the whole month using Alcohol Change UK's tools and resources, and that can bring huge, obvious benefits.


The positive impact of giving up alcohol:


Improved gum health 

Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to a dry mouth, reducing saliva production. Saliva is crucial for maintaining oral health as it helps neutralise the pH in the mouth, promoting the remineralisation of tooth enamel.  

When alcohol dries out the mouth, it creates an environment where harmful bacteria can thrive, increasing the risk of gum disease. Giving up alcohol can lead to better saliva flow, ultimately improving gum health and reducing the likelihood of periodontal issues. 

Reduced risk of mouth cancer 

Alcohol consumption, especially in combination with tobacco use, is a significant risk factor for mouth cancer. In fact, excessive alcohol consumption is linked to around one in every three cases. 

If you were to give up drinking you can significantly reduce the risk of developing cancers in the mouth, throat, and oesophagus.  

Prevention of tooth decay 

Alcoholic drinks often contain sugars and acids that can contribute to tooth decay. Additionally, the dehydrating effects of alcohol can lead to a decrease in saliva flow, impairing the mouth’s ability to naturally cleanse and protect teeth.  

Some alcoholic drinks are more sugary than others and if you’re partial to spirits, the sugar in mixers can be especially high. In all cases, look out for sugar-free or low-sugar options. 

Sugar in wine can also vary wildly. Dry red wines or dry white wines have around 2 grams of sugar per standard glass. Off-dry wines (which means slightly sweet) have around 3-5 grams, and sweeter wines like Sauternes have 10 grams. Then, there are late harvest wines which can contain a whopping 20 grams of sugar per glass.1 

Guidelines recommend that adults should not have more than 30 grams of added sugars every day. If you drink a few glasses of alcohol, you can quickly reach that limit. So, it's important to be careful and keep to moderation. 

Say goodbye to stains 

Many alcoholic beverages, such as red wine and certain cocktails, are notorious for staining teeth. These stains can be unsightly and challenging to remove with regular brushing alone. 

By giving up alcohol, you not only eliminate the source of these stains but also make it easier to maintain a brighter and whiter smile. 

Reduction in bad breath 

Alcohol can contribute to bad breath or halitosis in several ways. It can lead to a dry mouth, fostering the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Moreover, the compounds in alcoholic beverages can leave a lingering smell. 

Quitting alcohol can help combat these issues, leading to fresher breath and improved overall oral hygiene. 


For more information visit:


Mouth Cancer Awareness Month!


November is mouth cancer awareness month. 


Mouth cancer can start at in any part of the mouth and is one of the most common types of head and neck cancerThe most common places for mouth cancer to develop are on the side of the tongue and the floor of the mouth. 


Symptoms of mouth cancer

The most common symptom of mouth cancer is a mouth ulcer or sore that does not heal in 3 weeks. The areas that may be affected include the:

  • inside of the cheeks
  • roof of the mouth
  • lip
  • gum
  • tongue.

If you have an ulcer or sore, your GP may refer you to see a specialist, usually within 2 weeks. This is called an urgent referral. You can read more about other urgent referral symptoms in our information about the signs and symptoms of head and neck cancer.


Different symptoms of mouth cancer include:

  • a lump or thickening in the mouth or on the lip
  • difficulty or pain with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • bleeding or numbness in the mouth
  • bad breath (halitosis)
  • loose teeth or dentures that do not fit well anymore
  • a lump in the neck
  • red patches (Erythroplakia) or white patches (Leukoplakia) that do not go away – can be an early sign of cancer.

These symptoms can be caused by other conditions. But it is important to have them checked by your doctor or dentist.



Support for people affected by mouth cancer


Online community

The Online Community is a place to chat to others who know what you or your loved one are going through. Here you'll find dedicated forums for mouth cancer including the mouth cancer forum and head and neck cancer forum

You will also find informative blogs such as 'how often do you check yourself for mouth cancer?'.


Quit smoking this Stoptober!

When you stop smoking, good things start to happen and you can begin to see almost immediate improvements to your health.

Join the thousands of smokers committing to quitting. Stop smoking for 28 days and you're 5 times more likely to give up for good.

It's much easier to stop smoking when you get the right support and there are lots of options to choose from.

Check out our free tools, tips and support through this link to help you stay on track


What happens when you quit?

The sooner you quit, the sooner you'll notice changes to your body and health. Look at what happens when you quit for good.


After 20 minutes

Check your pulse rate, it will already be starting to return to normal.

After 8 hours

Your oxygen levels are recovering, and the harmful carbon monoxide level in your blood will have reduced by half.

After 48 hours

All carbon monoxide is flushed out. Your lungs are clearing out mucus and your senses of taste and smell are improving.

After 72 hours

If you notice that breathing feels easier, it's because your bronchial tubes have started to relax. Also your energy will be increasing.

After 2 to 12 weeks

Blood will be pumping through to your heart and muscles much better because your circulation will have improved.

After 3 to 9 months

Any coughs, wheezing or breathing problems will be improving as your lung function increases by up to 10%.

After 1 year

Great news! Your risk of heart attack will have halved compared with a smoker's.

After 10 years

More great news! Your risk of death from lung cancer will have halved compared with a smoker's.


Benefits of quitting smoking


Better physical health

Every time you smoke a cigarette, your body is flooded with thousands of chemicals, many of which are poisonous.

The day you stop, your body starts clearing itself of all those nasty toxins and the repair process begins.

You'll notice some benefits within days or weeks:

  • your senses of taste and smell improve
  • you start to breathe more easily
  • you have more energy

Other benefits will follow, including:

  • better blood circulation to your heart and muscles, which will make physical activity easier
  • improved lung function, leading to reductions in any cough, wheezing or other breathing problems


Reduced risks of smoking-related diseases

Your longer-term risks of cancer, lung disease, heart disease and stroke will be significantly reduced, and:

  • after 1 year, risk of heart attack halves compared to a smoker's
  • after 10 years, risk of death from lung cancer falls to half that of a smoker
  • after 15 years, risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked

You will also be less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, bone disease including osteoporosis, eye disease and dementia.


Better mental health

You may think that smoking supports your mental wellbeing, and helps you to relax, deal with stress and anxiety, and cope with life's difficulties.

In fact, the opposite is true. Stopping smoking boosts mental health and wellbeing.

Evidence shows that after the withdrawal stage of quitting, people have reduced anxiety, depression and stress.

People who have quit also have increased positive mood compared with people who continue to smoke.


Better for your family and friends

For some people, a big reason for stopping smoking is to be there for their family and friends.

If you have stopped smoking and are physically and mentally healthy, you're more likely to be able to support your loved ones – and be a part of their life in the future.

Also, becoming a smoke-free role model means your children are much less likely to take up smoking.

This month is National Smile month.


The children have been taking part in different activities and have been talking about the importance of tooth brushing and healthy eating. We have been pretending to be dentists, reading stories about teeth, cleaning teeth in funky fingers and making our own healthy smoothies. The older Reception children have also been writing about how they would catch the tooth fairy. 

Tooth 4: Visit a dentist regularly


It is very important that your child has a dentist and visits them regularly from when they're born. Children should been seen by a dentist around every 6 months.


Finding a dentist can be difficult. You can find a dental surgery that's convenient for you, whether it's near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any NHS appointments available. Use this link to search for a NHS dentist in your area.

Dental surgeries will not always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients. You may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately. Once you find a dental surgery, you may have to fill in a registration form at your first visit, which is just to add you to their patient database. But that does not mean you have guaranteed access to an NHS dental appointment in the future.


If after contacting several dental surgeries you still cannot find a dentist accepting NHS patients, call NHS England's Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 2233.


If you have an urgent dental emergency you can phone 01228 603900 if you are in north Carlisle and 03001234010 if you are in South Cumbria.


NHS Dental charges:

There are 3 NHS charge bands:


Band 1: £25.80

Covers an examination, diagnosis and advice. If necessary, it also includes X-rays, a scale and polish (if clinically needed), and planning for further treatment.

Band 2: £70.70

Covers all treatment included in Band 1, plus additional treatment, such as fillings, root canal treatment and removing teeth (extractions).

Band 3: £306.80

Covers all treatment included in Bands 1 and 2, plus more complex procedures, such as crowns, dentures and bridges.


To find our what each band covers go to

What to do in a dental emergeny!

As part of the Smile4Life scheme, the children have been talking about healthy eating, getting their 5 a day and how much sugar we should be having each day.


During Jigsaw the children were learning about healthy foods and unhealthy foods. They had to sort the shopping and decide if it was a healthy food or an unhealthy food. The children were also able to taste lots of different healthy foods such as, grapes, cherry tomatoes, apricots and pea pods. They knew that they had to eat lots of healthy foods to help them grow big and strong but that having a little treat sometimes was also ok. 

Tooth 3: Encouraging the promotion of a healthy lifestyle


A part of the smile4life scheme is to encourage a healthy lifestyle, not just for the children but for their parents and families too. It is important for adults to look after their oral hygiene just as much as it is for children. 



Smoking and the use of tobacco can cause a lot of damage to the body and can harm almost every organ. It can cause lung cancer, respiratory disease and cardiovascular disease, as well as many cancers in other organs including lip, mouth, throat, bladder, kidney, stomach, liver and cervix. Smoking reduces fertility and significantly raises the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, eye disease and dementia. It leads to decreased bone mineral density and is associated with increased risk of osteoporosis, bone fractures, back pain and degenerative disc disease.


Secondhand smoke is dangerous for anyone exposed to it, but children are especially vulnerable due to breathing more rapidly and having less developed airways, lungs and immune systems



Electronic cigarettes are also known as e-cigarettes or vapes. They heat a liquid that becomes a vapour people can breathe in. They usually contain nicotine, which is the addictive chemical in cigarettes. E-cigarettes do not contain tobacco, which is the harmful part of cigarettes that causes cancer. 

Many studies show that e-cigarettes are less harmful than smoking however, as they are still a fairly new product the side effects aren't still completely known. 


Support to quit

Local stop smoking services are free, friendly and can massively boost your chances of quitting for good. These services staffed by expert advisers provide a range of proven methods to help you quit. They'll give you accurate information and advice, as well as professional support, during the first few months you stop smoking. They also make it easy and affordable for you to get stop smoking treatments, such as nicotine replacement therapy.


How to contact a stop smoking adviser:

Your GP, pharmacist or health visitor can refer you, or you can phone your local stop smoking service to make an appointment with an adviser.


Alternatively you can call the free Smokefree national helpline on 03001231044 or visit to find your nearest stop smoking service.



Understanding the facts about how alcohol affects your mind and body can be the first step to increase your alcohol awareness and reduce your drinking. Whether it's alcohol poisoning symptoms, how many units a week you should have or the impact alcohol can have on mental health.


Alcohol units are a simple way of understanding the quantity of pure alcohol in a drink. One unit is 10ml (millilitres) or 8g (grams) of pure alcohol. Because alcoholic drinks come in different strengths and sizes, units are a way to tell how strong your drink is, which can also help you to make comparisons. As an example, a pint of average strength beer (4% ‘alcohol by volume’, or ABV) has about two units in it, while a single measure (25ml) of typical spirits is one unit.

It takes an average adult around an hour to process one unit of alcohol so that there's none left in their bloodstream, although this varies from person to person. And the more you drink, the longer it takes – so, six units of alcohol would take the average person six hours to process


The risk of developing a range of health problems increases the more you drink on a regular basis. That’s why the UK’s top doctors – the Chief Medical Officers – have created low risk drinking guidelines, to help you keep your risks from alcohol low.

The Chief Medical Officers' guidelines for both men and women are:

  • To keep health risks from alcohol to a low level it’s safest not to drink more than 14 units a week on a regular basis
  • If you regularly drink as much as 14 units per week, it's best to spread your drinking over three or more days. If you have one or two heavy drinking episodes a week, you increase your risk of death from long-term illness and from accidents and injuries
  • The risk of developing a range of health problems (including cancers of the mouth, throat and breast) increases the more you drink on a regular basis
  • If you wish to cut down the amount you drink, a good way to help achieve this is to have several drink-free days every week


For more information visit


Alcohol and drug support services


Alcohol addiction services can help you reduce or stop your drinking if it's affecting your life or your health. Alcohol addiction services include:

  • support to help you stop drinking
  • rehabilitation
  • counselling and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT)
  • group therapy
  • self-help

You can visit to find your nearest support service. 

Alternatively, below are some organisations who can help if you need support regarding alcohol:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (AA)

         0800 9177 650 (email helpline)

         Help and support for anyone with alcohol problems.

  • Alcohol Change UK

         Information and support options for people worried about how much alcohol they are drinking, in both English and Welsh.


Where to get help for drug addiction:

If you need treatment for drug addiction, you're entitled to NHS care in the same way as anyone else who has a health problem.

With the right help and support, it's possible for you to get drug free and stay that way.

A GP is a good place to start. They can discuss your problems with you and get you into treatment. They may offer you treatment at the practice or refer you to your local drug service. If you're not comfortable talking to a GP, you can approach your local drug treatment service yourself. Visit or to find your nearest support service.


Mouth Cancer

  • Mouth cancer, also called oral cancer, can affect any part of the mouth, including the gums, tongue, inside the cheeks, or lips.
  • Anyone can get mouth cancer, but the risk increases with age. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 66 and 70.


It's not always clear what causes mouth cancer. You may be more likely to get mouth cancer if:

  • you smoke or chew tobacco, betel nut or paan
  • you drink a lot of alcohol
  • you have leukoplakia
  • you’ve been exposed to a lot of sunlight or sunbeds, which can cause skin cancer affecting the lips
  • you've had cancer before
  • you have a weakened immune system, for example, you have HIV or AIDS, or take immunosuppressant medicine


Mouth cancer has also been linked to having changes in your genes and having some types of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection in your mouth.


How to lower your risk of mouth cancer

You cannot always prevent mouth cancer, but there are things you can do to lower your chance of getting it.

  • brush your teeth every day

  • eat a healthy diet, including 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day

  • exercise regularly

  • try to cut down on alcohol and avoid drinking more than 14 units a week

  • try to quit smoking

  • try to quit chewing tobacco, betel nut or paan


To find out more about mouth cancer, its symptoms and its treatments please visit

Support for parents who are breast feeding


Giving your child the best start to life is incredibly important whether you are breast feeding or formula feeding.

Here at brook street we want to be able to support our children's parents as much as we can. If you require a space to feed your child we will be happy to provide you with a calm, quiet space to do this if we have one available.


Women can get in touch with their midwife or health visitor if they have any worries or questions about breast feeding. There are lots of groups across Cumbria that can offer support and information:

  • Carlisle and Allerdale Breastfeeding Support Group Morton Children’s Centre, Tuesdays, 11am to 12pm (Family Action) Tel: 0122822341

  • Wigton Breastfeeding Support Group at Wigton Children’s Centre, Wednesdays, 10:30am to 11:30am. (Family Action) Tel: 01900604822

  • Eden Breastfeeding Support Group Penrith Children’s Centre, first and third Tuesday of the month. (Barnardos) Tel: 01768899901

  • Appleby Children’s Centre, second and fourth Tuesday of the month. 1:30-2:30. (Barnardos ) Tel: 01768899901

  • Egremont Children's Centre. Allerdale and Copeland Infant Feeding Support Group, Tuesdays 12pm to 1pm. (Family Action) Tel: 0194664600

  • Seaton Library Group. (BAPS) Breastfeeding and Peer Support Groups: Tuesday 1-2pm. Maryport Library Group: Thursdays 10:00-11:00.


National Breastfeeding Helpline - 7 days a week 9:30am to 9.30pm. Tel: 0300100212 or live online support via chat available.

01228 558724