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To Sam

My teeth

Hi Sam! A kinda embarrassing thing but I’ve not brushed my teeth in almost 10 years and I really want to start brushing again since I’ve started noticing holes and discolouration on my teeth and my teeth have started being really painful and I turn 16 in less then a month so I was thinking of maybe booking a dentist appointment without my parents knowing for after I turn 16 so I can go alone since I want to get all my teeth problems sorted out before I turn 18 so I don’t have to pay since I don’t have a lot of money

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Sam

Hi there

Taking care of your teeth and gums is important and it’s best to brush your teeth twice a day for good dental health.  Your parents should be making sure that you see a dentist regularly. If they aren’t then you could try and make an appointment yourself or ask an adult you trust to help you make one.

Tooth decay can cause pain, smelly breath, dark marks on your teeth or sensitivity to food and drinks that are hot or cold. If you have any of these symptoms you’ll need to see a dentist as soon as possible so that they can treat the cause and help to stop any problems getting worse. If you’re in a lot of pain or think you need to see a dentist urgently you can call NHS 111 for advice about emergency dental services.

You can see a dentist and have treatment without a parent or carer needing to be there but it’s always best to make an appointment or ask about going on your own, especially if you need treatment right now. If the dentist decides that you fully understand what's involved they should offer you treatment without a parent needing to be there. You can get free dental treatment anywhere in the UK if you’re under 18, under 19 and in full-time education, or if you’re pregnant or you've had a baby in the last 12 months.

Good dental care starts from a young age and even baby teeth need taking care of. Your parents or carers should help you to follow a routine for brushing your teeth and having regular check-ups at the dentist. If you’re not getting medical and dental help when you need it you might be experiencing neglect and you can talk to an adult you trust or a Childline counsellor if that’s happening to you.

It’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth and seeing a dentist is a good first step.

Thank you for your letter.

Take care,

Sam

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