Over 420 pupils at Carclaze Community Primary School will continue improving their oral health after Imerys Minerals and West Carclaze Garden Village renewed their commitment for the third year running to Brighter Smiles - Cornwall’s oral health campaign.
The £1,500 per annum shared donation reflects both companies’ commitment to reversing the continuing trend of avoidable tooth extractions from children in Cornwall - a serious public health issue which sees around 20 children aged five to nine admitted to hospital each week to have their teeth removed under general anaesthetic. It is the number one reason for hospital admissions amongst the age group, but 100 per cent preventable.
This support has enabled the Brighter Smiles team to once again set up toothbrushing clubs in the reception classes, and deliver oral health education to all the schools’ pupils with home education packs for all to encourage continued good practice at home with all the family. Although currently paused due to the pandemic, it will also enable the team to apply fluoride varnishing to the teeth of reception and year one pupils, once Public Health England give the go-ahead for this to resume.
Simon Pollard, head teacher at Carclaze Community Primary School said, “We are extraordinarily grateful to Imerys and West Carclaze Garden Village for continuing their generous support, which will enable the Brighter Smiles team to have an even bigger positive impact on the oral health of our school community. The pupils look forward to seeing the team and their dragon, and really engage with the fun oral health activities which fit so well with our main school values of ‘Care, Communicate, Persevere and Sparkle’”.
A spokesperson from Imerys said, “We are thrilled that our Community Donations Committee was prepared to once again support Brighter Smiles. This is a great community-based solution to a problem most people are surprised and shocked about, which significantly improves health outcomes for local children whilst reducing pressure on the NHS – and there couldn’t be a more important time for us to collectively find ways to do this”.
Dorian Beresford, chief development officer who is leading the development of the West Carclaze Garden Village scheme, commented, “It is paramount that good dental hygiene is practiced from a young age, both to reduce tooth decay and to form lifelong habits. The Brighter Smiles programme have been doing a brilliant job of educating the importance of this to the children at Carclaze school since 2018 – when John Hodkin, who represented both companies, decided we would sponsor them. Sadly, John passed away suddenly in December 2020, but we are certain that he would be very happy that we are continuing our support for the third year running with this initiative.”
Jonathan Bouwer-Davies is dental director at Smile Together, creators of the Brighter Smiles campaign, and explains, “Our contract with Cornwall Council sees us help almost 2,000 children in the most vulnerable areas of the county, but there is still a huge amount of work to do to reverse this worrying trend. We are therefore hugely appreciative of the funds Imerys, West Carclaze Garden Village and our other generous supporters contribute towards improving the long-term oral health outcomes for children in their local community. Collectively we are really making a difference and it’s great to continue this impact together.”
In addition to Cornwall Council, Imerys and West Carclaze Garden Village, Brighter Smiles is supported by local and national organisations such as Fuel Communications, DecaDent and Seafarers Hospital Society. In previous years over 80 schools, nurseries and family hubs and 4,500 children have regularly engaged in the programme, but with 280 schools in Cornwall there is still much more to do. With covid-precautions in place, the team are back out visiting Cornish schools and nurseries, so if you would like to join in supporting your local school in your local community then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.