Almost 390 pupils at Trenance Learning Academy will be improving their oral health thanks to Ocean Housings support for Brighter Smiles – Cornwall’s oral health campaign.
Their support sees the company join a growing group of organisations committed to reversing the continuing trend of avoidable tooth extractions from children in Cornwall – 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 funding from Ocean Housing will enable the Brighter Smiles team to set up toothbrushing clubs in the reception classes, apply fluoride varnishing to the teeth of reception and year 1 pupils, and deliver oral health education to all the schools’ pupils with home education packs for all.
Emma Biscard, Assistant Deputy Head at Trenance Learning Academy, one of the largest infant schools in Cornwall, said “We are very grateful to Ocean Housing for their generous support in bringing the Brighter Smiles programme into our school community. I have no doubt the pupils will look forward to the team’s visits and will have great fun engaging with all the oral health activities which will make such a positive difference and contribute further to our happy caring environment”.
Bev Bassett, representing Ocean Housing said: “We operate at the very heart of our community and work hard to ensure that customers remain at the very heart of Ocean. We were therefore delighted to be able to support this important initiative which will significantly improve oral health outcomes for youngsters in Newquay, many of whom are our residents, and in turn reduce pressure on the NHS. I’d genuinely encourage other local businesses to see how they can get involved.”
Paul Critchley, managing director at Smile Together, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, explained: “Whilst our contract with Cornwall Council has already helped over 1000 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. We are extremely appreciative of the support from Ocean Housing in enabling Brighter Smiles to reach out to even more children in Cornwall.”
In addition to Cornwall Council, Brighter Smiles is also backed by organisations such as Imerys, Fuel and Vospers. In the past 12 months almost 40 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.