Fishermen and their families are being offered free dental checks, emergency treatment and oral cancer screening in five fishing ports across Cornwall and Devon thanks to Smile Together Dental CIC. The treatment will relieve any immediate dental problems including simple tooth extraction, permanent fillings and scale and polish with referrals through NHS routes where more complex oral surgery is required.
Oral health packs for the fishermen who attend will include a toothbrush, toothpaste and 2-minute timer along with top dental tips for all the family and in some locations there will be free Healthy Lifestyle advice and information from other healthcare providers and charity partners.
Smiles at Sea is funded and delivered by Smile Together in partnership with The Fishermen’s Mission and Healthy Cornwall, SeaFit and their partner network of healthcare providers.
According to project lead Joy Callender: “This will be the sixth year Smile Together have visited local harboursides. We’re passionate about tackling oral health inequality in our communities, 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.”
Fishermen who attended Smiles at Sea last year found it extraordinarily valuable with comments including: “brilliant service to offer… very patient with me being nervous …having the dentist come to us is brilliant for fishermen…excellent treatment by brilliant people…very helpful, will come again… fantastic, lovely team…great service, very beneficial, thank you…very nice people, enjoyed my visit.’
The 2022 #SmilesAtSeaUK tour for fishermen starts in Newlyn on Tuesday 27th September and finishes in Padstow on Friday 7th October, visiting Newquay, Brixham and Mevagissey along the way. In Penzance and Newquay the team are also supporting Cornwall Health for Homeless initiatives with the mobile dental unit.
Ali Cane, Outreach and Nurse Development Manager at Smile Together, adds: “We are so looking forward to making a difference in our coastal communities. By diving deeper into prevention and care we want to leave the fishing communities smiling and a great deal healthier. Every eligible person who sees our oral health team will receive a FREE pack of oral health items and healthy snacks, plus be entered into a free prize draw! We are also encouraging people to bring along their old toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and associated packaging for recycling through our commitment to Colgate TerraCycle. Everything you’d expect from a certified B Corporation doing business for good!”
Smiles at Sea is an award-winning programme having won Best Outreach or Charity Initiative in the national Dental Awards 2019 and shortlisted as Project of the Year in the Third Sector Business Charity Awards 2020.