Smile Together teams generously and enthusiastically volunteer their time to make up oral health packs for donating to local charities best positioned to reach those families and individuals most in need across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

These packs include toothbrushes for the whole family, toothpaste, two-minute toothbrushing timers, a brushing chart and a wealth of information on how to look after your oral health and access urgent or emergency dental care in the county.

So far CPR Foodbank in Camborne, The Trussell TrustFood For Families, Cornwall YMCATrelyaDISC NewquayWe Are With You (formerly Addaction), St Petrocs, Early Help Hub Camborne, Helston and The Lizard FoodbankThe Women’s Centre CornwallBrandon Trust, Wadebridge, Bodmin and Camelford Foodbank and Coastline Homeless Service  have all received oral health packs for onward distribution amongst the vulnerable communities they work with, and we have also supported refugees, a community of migrant workers living at Minorca Lane in Bugle, Kehelland TrustTeyluva Centre St DayCommunity Larder, Torpoint Library and Community Hub, Age UK Wellbeing Hub SE Cornwall, Cornwall Diabetic Group and Hope for the Homeless in Plymouth.

We have also provided oral health packs through our support for Cornwall Health for Homeless.

To date over 3,600 packs have been donated, making a real difference to oral health in local communities.

The inspiration for this oral health donations project came during the first lockdown in Spring 2020 when the Brighter Smiles oral health team had to temporarily pause their visits to schools, nurseries and family hubs across Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, meaning that children and their families in areas of high decay across the county were unable to benefit from the programme’s toothbrushing clubs, fluoride varnishing programme and face-to-face oral health education sessions. Instead, the team donated the 4,000 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste that they had in stock to local charities and community groups for onward distribution to the vulnerable and hard-to-reach communities they support.

This so inspired other colleagues that Smile Together put aside the funds to purchase thousands more oral health items for local teams to donate in their local communities – but first we needed somewhere to store them! Pirate FM kindly put out our call for a 20ft storage container and Willbox responded, providing us with a secure storage solution which they even delivered to our Harleigh Road Dental Centre in Bodmin. Our dental suppliers have also been very generous in providing extra oral health items for inclusion in our packs, and a special thanks goes to CTS Dental Supplies.

From the very start of this project the response was fantastic as you can read here.

Our commitment as a B Corp means that Smile Together teams feel just as strongly about our impact on the environment as they do about tackling oral health inequality in their local communities. So to keep things as eco-friendly as possible, instead of using plastic bags for our oral health packs we use compostable bags made from potato starch. Our Brighter Smiles team also use these bags for the thousands of oral health family education packs that they give out to children in the schools, nurseries and family hubs that they visit each year.

 

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