Almost 450 nursery and primary school children in the heart of the Cornish clay area will be improving their long term oral health outcomes thanks to the generous support of Bristol-based DecaDent Ltd, leading provider of dental surgery equipment and service.

The three-year commitment from DecaDent will enable the expert Brighter Smiles team from Smile Together to set up toothbrushing clubs in the reception classes of Bugle School, apply fluoride varnish to the teeth of reception and year 1 pupils, and deliver oral health education to all the schools’ pupils with home education packs for the whole family.

The Brighter Smiles team are already funded by Cornwall Council to work in the adjoining Piccolo Early Years Group and this funding from DecaDent will at last enable them to extend their valuable oral health education programme into Bugle School and maintain continuity.

Luke Rees, Head of Bugle School which is part of the Aspire Academy Trust, said: “We’ve seen first-hand just how fun and effective this oral health programme is in Piccolo’s as many of those children transition here. With so many of our families struggling to access regular dental care we do experience issues with tooth decay amongst our pupils and have therefore been really keen to engage Brighter Smiles but couldn’t do so without a financial supporter. Our school motto is ‘learning together by including’ and thanks to DecaDent we can now work together to help improve longer term oral health outcomes in our school and local community”.

DecaDent’s impact will go even further in this Cornish clay community.

Since May 2018 the Brighter Smiles team have been making a real difference to the oral health of children in Nanpean Community Primary School and Nanpean Nippers Nursery thanks to funding from St Dennis & Nanpean Community Trust. Sadly this recently ceased but this generous support from DecaDent will enable the team to continue with their oral health programme there for a further three years.

Headteacher at Nanpean Community Primary School, Matthew Nicholls, said “This is wonderful news for children in Nanpean and our sincere thanks go to DecaDent for making this possible.  Not only do our children really look forward to visits from the Brighter Smiles team and their dragon but we are beginning to see a real reduction in the levels of tooth decay here and were so sad at the prospect of the programme ceasing. Now we can look forward to having even more fun whilst learning valuable oral health lessons.”

This funding from DecaDent sees the company join a growing group of organisations committed to supporting Smile Together in addressing what has become a serious public health issue. One which sees around 20 children aged 5-9 admitted to hospital each week to have their teeth removed under general anaesthetic – the number one reason for hospital admissions amongst the age group but 100% avoidable according to fellow campaigners.

Miles Tucker, Managing Director and Founder of DecaDent Ltd said: “We have been creating great dental environments for Smile Together in Cornwall for a number of years and pride ourselves in partnering with our customers. We’ve therefore seen the extraordinary impact their Brighter Smiles programme is having on the oral health of children across the county, and the importance of companies such as ourselves playing our part. We are thrilled to be supporting these school communities over the next three years and seeing just what difference we can make together in preventing tooth decay and improving longer term oral health outcomes”.

Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, explained: “When we set up as a community interest company in 2016, we turned to DecaDent Ltd to support us with our dental practice requirements. This has proved a very successful collaboration and their financial support for Brighter Smiles demonstrates the true spirit of partnership in the way we both like to do business”.

Paul continues: “Whilst our contract with Cornwall Council, which was recently extended for a further two years, has already helped over 1,500 children in the most vulnerable areas of the county, there is still a huge amount of work to do in order to reverse this worrying trend. It’s therefore encouraging to see a 149% increase in local children seen by the Brighter Smiles oral health campaign over the last 12 months, working with partners such as Brady Construction Services, Cornish Pirates, Fuel Communications, Imerys and now DecaDent. If anyone would also like to join us in supporting this campaign in a Cornish school, please contact my colleague tracy.wilson17@nhs.net – we’d love to hear from you”.

Brighter Smiles nurse with supporters and schoolchildren in classroom

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