Cornwall's Oral Health Campaign

Brighter smiles for local children


Did you know there is a recommended way to clean teeth and avoid decay?

Put a pea-sized amount of age-specific fluoride toothpaste on a dry toothbrush and brush for two minutes, including where the teeth and gums meet. Brush your teeth last thing at night and at one other time during the day and spit out the toothpaste but do not rinse your mouth after brushing. Cleaning between the teeth once a day with interdental brushes or dental floss has been shown to markedly improve gum health and keeping sugar hits to mealtimes means you can enjoy a treat without increasing the risk of developing tooth decay.

It’s important to maintain your good oral health practices at home. Visit our Patient Hub where you can find all the information you need for visiting the dentist and looking after your oral health. We have also created a series of virtual oral health education sessions for younger children and a fun animation called “Dylan the Dragon and the Sugarbugs”, which you can watch here.

The shocking facts

In Cornwall the highest single cause of hospital admissions for children between the ages of 5-9 is tooth extraction under general anaesthetic yet this is preventable.

See the BBC’s powerful film about access to NHS dentistry in Cornwall and what we’re doing as a dental social enterprise to reach those in our communities who need us most and improve oral health education via Brighter Smiles at

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hospital admissions per week in Cornwall (5-9 year olds)

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of children do not see an NHS dentist each year and average of 3 days of school missed due to dental problems

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cost to the NHS in England per year, £7.8m spent on tooth extractions among the under 5’s

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teeth will be removed from the mouths of kids in
Cornwall today under general anaesthetic

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The average 5 year old consumes their own body weight in sugar each year and a quarter have tooth decay with an average of 3-4 teeth affected

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teeth are extracted from 0-9 year olds each year
under general anaesthetic

Get involved

Schools, nurseries and family hubs

Our campaign is dedicated to making a difference in Cornish communities. Working together with Cornwall Council public health team, local businesses and individuals we go into schools providing fun and educational oral health education, tooth brushing clubs and fluoride varnishing. See how your community could benefit.

Dental Professionals

We are working with other dental professionals who share our ‘prevention is better than cure’ outlook and, like us, care deeply about the oral health of children in their local community.  In some cases, their dental nurses have undertaken training with us and joined our bank of volunteers to deliver the campaign in local schools.


We simply can’t achieve all that we do without the generosity of our supporters as this type of work is not currently funded by the NHS in Cornwall. Our campaign therefore provides a range of mutually beneficial opportunities for supporters to make a real difference in their local community. Help us improve the oral health of more Cornish children by becoming a supporter.

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