In Cornwall the highest single cause of hospital admissions for children between the ages of 5-9 is tooth extraction under general anaesthetic yet it’s preventable.
Both Gill and Ellie work for Brighter Dental, which is part of Smile Together Dental CIC, and the organisation has been delivering this oral health programme on the mainland for a number of years. Not only are they seeing decay levels reduce but the children have great fun along the way - it’s amazing how they in turn help the whole family improve their oral health along the way with the things they learn and then share!
Gill explains: “Since I’ve been here we’ve gone from having no child recall system for dental care to having a robust system where the children that we see come in at six or three month intervals depending on their need. We apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of any child coming in for their check up and talk to all our patients about oral healthcare, diet and nutrition. The toothbrushing clubs will help us reach youngsters at an even earlier stage which is fantastic”.
To deliver Brighter Smiles in each school community requires funding. In this case we owe thanks to our generous supporters www.farmerjames.co.uk, https://www.iridescentideas.com/ and https://cornwallcrafts.co.uk/ for enabling this to happen. If anyone would like to fund this valuable oral health programme for the Islands children from Sept 2020 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org – it costs around £300 per year to include every child here.
If you didn’t see the BBC’s powerful film about access to NHS dentistry in Cornwall and what Smile Together is doing as a dental social enterprise to improve oral health education via Brighter Smiles, this is available at https://smiletogether.co.uk/smile-together-on-the-bbc/ and there is more information about Brighter Smiles, Cornwall’s oral health programme at www.brightersmiles.org.uk