From today, free dental care in Scotland has been introduced for everyone under the age of 26. 

Up to 600,000 people are thought to benefit from the move, which is available with immediate effect. 

If you started treatment on the NHS before your 26th birthday you will also be eligible. 

Initially people those most in need with urgent dental issues will be prioritised as the dentist industry catches up with the backlog caused by the pandemic. 

You will need to register with an NHS dentist to receive the free care. 

To do so, you should call your regional dental helpline at your local Health Board, details of which can be found on the NHS Inform website.  

It comes as part of the Scottish Government's plans to scrap dental care costs for the entire Scottish population, with Health Secretary Humza Yousaf confirming this was the "first step on that journey."

"We’re committed to scrapping NHS dental charges for everyone in Scotland, and removing them for everyone aged under 26 is our first step on that journey," he said. 

"Today’s announcement means around 600,000 young people aged under 26 will benefit from free dental care from 24 August.

"I want to thank the dental sector for its outstanding efforts over the last challenging period and I look forward to engaging with you further as the Scottish Government continues to support practice recovery and improved NHS dental services for patients."

"I am pleased to also confirm a further £7.5 million investment for the sector. This will be used to purchase new dental drill equipment that produces less airborne particles, and therefore helps reduce the risk of COVID transmission.

"Alongside our previously announced £5 million to improve ventilation, this will further enable dental practices to see more NHS patients under present COVID restrictions, and demonstrates our commitment to NHS dental services.

"I will continue to engage with the sector, as we look to remobilise our dental services in a way that is safe."