Our Campaign

Help us make a difference 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 – a medically proven risk to anyone, let alone a frightened child with debilitating toothache.

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.

This is almost completely preventable if children have access to effective oral health education, fluoride application and toothbrushing clubs at an early stage.

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.

Ordinated against NHS England’s national Starting Well initiative

The shocking facts

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

36% of children do not see a dentist each year even though the service is free for children

179,000 teeth are extracted from 1-9 year olds each year under general anaesthetic

12% of 3 year olds suffer from tooth decay

£35m annual cost to the NHS in England each year

The average 5 year old consumes its own body weight in sugar each year


Help us free up this NHS resource and minimise the educational impact of lost school days and the economic burden of parental absence from work.

Our impact and the evidence

We have already supported over 1000 children at 27 toothbrushing clubs in nursery schools and Family Hubs across the county. Furthermore, we have set up 20 fluoride varnishing and oral health education programmes in reception classes.

Brighter Smiles is demonstrating that by helping to keep Cornish children’s smiles bright it will not only improve their oral health but help develop their personalities, self-confidence, relationships and success.

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% – this has to be something worth supporting!

Click here to see all of the Primary Schools and Family Hubs engaged in our campaign

Join us in supporting parents and children

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:

  • Fluoride varnish application in schools for children aged between 5 and 6
  • Toothbrushing clubs at Family Hubs across the county and at schools, highlighting the importance of good oral health from an early age and providing sound advice about the best oral health regimes
  • Oral health education sessions providing pre-school 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

What parents 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

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