Free dental care and prescriptions

Posted in: Wellbeing Date added:
Close up of a bathroom tap, with a bar of soap on one side and a glass with toothbrushes and toothpaste on the other.

Some things in life are free, and fortunately when you’re pregnant and during your baby’s first year dental care and prescriptions are a couple of them.

Dental Care

During your pregnancy and for 12 months after the birth, you’ll be entitled to free dental care. Some dentists require you to fill out a form, but if you take the MATB1 certificate with you (your doctor or midwife will give this to you at the 20-week check up), or a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate (MatEx), this should be all you need.


NHS prescriptions are also free when you’re pregnant, and for the 12 months after your child is born. You have to have a valid Maternity Exemption Certificate (MatEx) which you can claim using a form FW8. Your doctor, midwife or health visitor should be able to give you one. You need to fill out parts 1 & 2 and they can then sign it and send it back to the NHS. Your card should be processed quickly but if you haven’t received it in a few weeks you can call the NHS Help with Health Costs enquiry line on 0300 330 1343.

“Get your toddler used to going to the dentist by taking them to your own appointments from about 2 years old.”

Your Child

Children also receive free dental care under 16 years of age, and up to 18 if still in full-time education. You need to fill out the exemption form the dentist gives you each time on arrival, to enable their free treatment. Children under 16 should be accompanied by an adult each time they go.

Prescriptions are also free for all children under 16 years of age, and up until 19 if still in qualifying full-time education. Again, you just need to sign the back of the prescription form at the chemist when you go to collect it.

Note: Whilst we take care to ensure Hub content is accurate at the time of publication, individual circumstances can differ so please don’t rely on it when making financial decisions.