Providing free dental treatment at the harbourside for fishermen and their families

Smile Together has been taking a mobile dental unit harbourside every year since 2017 as we know our Smiles at Sea tour makes a real difference in local fishing communities. We’re passionate about tackling oral health inequality, in this case helping to improve the oral health of fishermen who so rarely get to see a dentist due to the demands of their work.

Funded by Seafarers Hospital Society and Smile Together and delivered in partnership with The Fishermen’s Mission as part of their national SeaFit service, including their partner network of healthcare providers, our award-winning Smiles at Sea partnership project is such a great example of an integrated healthcare initiative where every contact counts!

Smiles at Sea tour 2023

Our 2023 #SmilesAtSeaUK tour started in Newlyn on 14th September and finished in Plymouth on 14th December, visiting Mevagissey, Padstow, Brixham, Hayle, Newquay and Looe along the way. We visited three additional ports thanks to generous funding from Seafarers Hospital Society.

Fishermen and their dependent family members received a FREE check-up, immediate dental treatment, oral cancer screening and oral health advice at the harbourside. We shared our ‘Checking for mouth cancer at sea’ video created in 2022 to encourage fishermen to regularly check for any unusual changes in the mouth and produced a brand new video at Hayle with the Oral Health Foundation and our outreach Therapist Natalie, which you can see here. We also supported their national Mouth Cancer Action Month campaign at each harbourside location during November.

In some locations there were FREE NHS health checks and screening, mental health counselling, information on self-management of long-term conditions, cancer, pharmacy and physiotherapy information from other healthcare providers such as Healthy Cornwall, Healthwatch Cornwall, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Hepatitis C Trust, Fairwinds Cornwall and Diabetes UK.

Every eligible person who saw our dentist received a FREE oral health pack and were entered into our prize draw to win an electric toothbrush.

Registered charity numbers: Seafarers Hospital Society 231724 | Fishermen’s Mission 232822

Sustainability matters

Everyone was invited to bring their old toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and associated packaging for recycling through our commitment to Colgate TerraCycle as our Bodmin practice is a registered drop-off point. We even completed a beach clean at Harbour beach in Newquay, contributing to the Surfers Against Sewage ‘Million Mile Clean’ – just what you’d expect from a B Corporation team who celebrated their certification on the beach at Godrevy!

Ensuring Smiles at Sea since 2017

See our impact and gallery of images from the current and previous Smiles at Sea tours: 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017

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