Early years oral health programme

The AP Smilestars programme provides training for teaching / supervisory staff to deliver supervised tooth brushing to children aged 3-5 years in a nursery / reception class setting.  This is part of the BwD Oral Health improvement strategy to address the high rates of tooth decay within the borough.

Since the initial rollout of the AP Smilestars programme in September 2022, the scheme is now operating in more than 40 educational settings in high-priority areas across the borough – benefitting more than 1500 children to date.  In addition to providing training, each child is provided with a toothbrush and toothpaste to use in the classroom.

The second phase of this programme begins in March 2023 and will prioritise the next 40 educational settings that have been identified as priority areas.

As there is a strong correlation between oral and physical health, the programme seeks to improve the long-term health of children within the borough throughout their whole life-course.

Further information about the programme can be found on the Be Well Blackburn with Darwen website: