Hints and tips

Help with NHS Dental costs

You do not have to pay for NHS dental treatment if, when treatment starts,
you are:

  • Aged under 18
  • Under 19 and receiving full-time education
  • Pregnant or have had a baby in the previous 12 months
  • Staying in an NHS hospital and your treatment is carried out by the hospital dentist
  • An NHS hospital dental service outpatient (however, you may have to pay for your dentures or bridges)

You also do not have to pay if, when the treatment starts, you are receiving:

  • Income Support
  • Income-related Employemnt and Support Allowance
  • Income-based Jobseeker's Allowance
  • Pension Credit guarantee credit


  • You are named on a valid NHS tax credit exemption certificate or you are entitled to an NHS tax credit exemption certificate
  • You are named on a valid HC2 certificate

Find out more about the NHS Low Income Scheme (LIS).

Partial help
If your name is on a valid HC3 certificate, you may not have to pay for all your treatment. Checks are made on free and reduced cost treatment claims. If you say you have the right to free treatment when you do not, you may incur a penalty charge.

You will not be exempt from paying because you receive: Incapacity Benefit, contribution-based Employment and Support Allowance, contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance, Disability Living Allowance, Council Tax Benefit, Housing Benefit or Pensions Credit savings credit, when paid on their own.

Medical conditions do not exempt patients from payment for dental treatment.

You will be asked to show your dentist written proof that you do not have to pay for all or part of your NHS treatment. You will also be asked to sign a form to confirm that you do not have to pay.

Healthy mouth tips

  • Brush your teeth for 2 minutes twice a day with a pea size amount of fluoride toothpaste. Use a small-medium sized brush with medium bristles.
  • Spit out any excess toothpaste at the end of brushing. Do not rinse your mouth with water/mouthwash afterwards.
  • Limit sugary foods and drinks to mealtimes only.
  • Visit your dentist at least once a year and every 6 months for children.
  • When drinking sugary drinks the use of a straw will reduce the risk of dental erosion.
  • Wait for at least one hour after eating or drinking to brush your teeth.
  • Chewing sugar free chewing gum after a meal helps to stimulate saliva and neutralise plaque acid.