Children at Nanpean Community Primary School and Nanpean Nippers Nursery will be smiling with even greater confidence thanks to St Dennis & Nanpean Community Trust‘s decision to invest in a local oral health programme.

The Trust have pledged £2,000 to Brighter Smiles – Cornwall’s Oral Health Campaign – which will see over 200 children receive oral health tips and education over the next 12 months.

The pledge sees the Trust join a growing group of organisations committed to reversing the continuing trend of avoidable tooth extractions from children across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly – a serious public health issue which sees around 20 children aged 5-9 admitted to hospital each week to have their teeth removed under general anaesthetic. It is the number one reason for hospital admissions amongst the age group but 100% avoidable according to campaigners.

The donation from St Dennis & Nanpean Community Trust will enable the Brighter Smiles team to set up toothbrushing clubs in the nursery and reception classes, apply fluoride varnishing to the teeth of reception and year 1 pupils, and deliver oral health education to all the nursery and school children with home education packs for all.

Mrs C Wicks, Headteacher at Nanpean Community Primary School, said “This is wonderful news for children in Nanpean and our sincere thanks go to the Trust for making this happen.  We look forward to having even more fun whilst learning valuable oral health lessons from the dental experts at Brighter Smiles.”

Julia Clarke, Interim Chair at St Dennis & Nanpean Community Trust explained: “Like most people, we were shocked to find the scale of this problem both in Cornwall and across the country but were encouraged that it is entirely preventable.  In line with one of our objectives, to promote the preservation of the health of people living in this area, this pledge not only benefits local families but also helps reduce pressure on the NHS.”

Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, explained: “This is great news for local children in so many ways apart from improving their oral health.  As a result of this very generous grant by the Trust, those children will have improved confidence and self-esteem, and be able to concentrate on their learning and development in those crucial early years.”

Brighter Smiles is also backed by organisations such as Cornwall Council, Imerys Minerals, Eco-BosOcean HousingFuel and Vospers. In the past 12 months over 30 schools have taken part in the initiative with positive feedback from pupils, parents and carers and the schools themselves. There are 280 schools in Cornwall.

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