Our Campaign

Help us make a difference to the oral health of local children in your local community.

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.

Nationally this costs the NHS in England over £35m per year, a cost that has increased 65% over the last 5 years. 

Combined with the educational impact of lost school days and the economic burden of parental absence from work, this becomes even more significant.

Our specialist dental team became so disillusioned with removing teeth from so many children that we launched our Brighter Smiles Campaign, backed by Cornwall Council and brand communications agency FUEL.  

With help from other valued supporters we set up toothbrushing clubs, apply fluoride varnishing and deliver oral health education in primary schools, family hubs and nurseries across the county, particularly in areas of high tooth decay. We make a difference to the oral health of around 4,000 children each year and engage with hundreds of teachers and parents/carers.

Our ambition is to reach thousands more.

What does Brighter Smiles deliver?

Brighter Smiles is delivered by specially trained clinicians and oral health educators making a difference to children and their families in some of the most deprived areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through:

  • Toothbrushing clubs for nursery and reception children highlighting the importance of good oral health from an early age and providing sound advice about the best oral health regimes
  • Fluoride varnish application in schools for children aged between 5 and 6 for whom we have consent
  • Oral health education sessions providing children and their families with key oral health messages and healthy diet advice
  • Providing toothbrushes, toothpaste and general information to all those involved in the programme

Our impact and the evidence

Our focus is on reducing tooth decay among the most vulnerable parts of our community by intervention and education. We already support around 4,000 children a year in primary schools, family hubs and nurseries with toothbrushing clubs, fluoride varnishing and fun oral health education.

They really look forward to our visits and Brighter Smiles is demonstrating that by keeping Cornish children’s smiles bright it not only improves their oral health but helps to develop their confidence. See the impact of our prevention activities at https://smiletogether.co.uk/our-achievements/ 

As clinically evidenced by Scotland’s Child Smile, our campaign focus upon nursery and reception children will reduce tooth extractions amongst children by at least 25% and we’re already beginning to see this in the educational environments we’ve been visiting since our programme began – this has to be something worth supporting!

Our campaign costs us around £10 per pupil which is below similar prevention initiatives elsewhere in the country – for example, CDS in Bedfordshire estimate £10 per child for toothbrushing clubs only, and Teeth Team (covering Hull and Yorkshire) estimate £14 per child for their equivalent child dental health improvement initiative – demonstrating great value for money here in Cornwall! Help us reach more Cornish children.

What parents and teachers say about Brighter Smiles

 

 

“It’s a really good idea to make children aware how important teeth brushing is and just how long they need to brush for” Parent – Nanpean School

“As a dentist and a parent, the listening of my daughter is blurred on oral hygiene! So I have been very grateful for the help!” Parent – Nanpean School

“Jo is very knowledgeable and shared different reasons why children’s teeth might be soft. We have been running Brush Bus for many years so I am very confident supervising the toothbrushing club.” Teacher – Falmouth Primary

“I have learnt more about fluoride and the benefits of it for children’s teeth. Thank you, the children were very interested and engaged!” Reception teacher – Pondhu Primary

“The children all engaged and listened well. Jenna was very good with the children. Friendly and funny. Made the children aware of good or bad choices of food. The children enjoyed it. Thank you again.” Teacher – Nanpean Nippers

 

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