Over 180 more Cornish pupils in the west of the county are improving their oral health thanks to the generous support of Cornish Pirates, Dental Directory and their partner networks.

Brighter Smiles, Cornwall’s oral health programme, will be delivered in Gulval School and Nursery, Penzance from September 2021 thanks to generous funding from Dental Directory and their key dental suppliers SDI, Acteon UK, Stockdale Martin/Oralieve and W&H UK Ltd who have innovatively grouped together to fund this school community.

Programme delivery in this school community has been further enabled by a charitable donation from Cornish Pirates’ supporters, raised during one of their pre-pandemic home games.

Toothbrushing clubs will be set up in Gulval School reception classes, fluoride varnish will be applied to the teeth of reception and year 1 pupils and oral health education delivered to all the school’s pupils with home education packs for the whole family to encourage good oral health care at home.

Paul Baker, head teacher of Gulval School which is part of the Truro and Penwith Academy Trust, said: “We’re so grateful to Cornish Pirates, Dental Directory and their partner companies for funding the delivery of Brighter Smiles in our adventurous school community. Many of our families struggle to regularly visit a dentist so this will undoubtedly make a really positive difference to the oral health of our pupils, from our little learners right through to our older children and their families. We all look forward to seeing the team and their dragons and engaging with the fun oral health activities, including the toothbrush recycling scheme – given our school mission of ‘Respect Yourself, Others and the Environment’ this partnership is a perfect fit”.

In Cornwall the highest single cause of hospital admissions for children between the ages of 5-9 is tooth extraction under general anaesthetic yet this is preventable. This donation from Cornish Pirates and commitment from Dental Directory, SDI, Acteon, Stockdale Martin/Oralieve and W&H sees them join a growing group of organisations and individuals committed to supporting Smile Together in addressing what remains a serious public health issue which is 100% avoidable according to fellow campaigners.

Jonathan Bouwer-Davies, Dental Director at Smile Together Dental CIC, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, explains: We’ve been working in partnership with Cornwall Council’s Public Health team and other valued supporters since 2016 to improve the long-term oral health outcomes of children in schools, nurseries and family hubs across the county, particularly in areas of high decay. Prior to Covid we were regularly engaging with over 4,500 children each year and, whilst we found some creative ways to help our local communities during the lockdowns, with the blessing of Public Health England our Brighter Smiles team can’t wait to get back out visiting school communities and educating even more children as there is so much more to do to reverse decay levels”.

If you would like to help more children smile with confidence, why not join Smile Together and their Brighter Smiles partners by supporting this campaign in a Cornish school near you. To explore how you could make a difference, please contact tracy.wilson17@nhs.net – we look forward to hearing from you.

 

Brighter Smiles dental nurse with Gulval School pupils teachers and farm animals

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