Smiles at Sea – free dental checks offered to fishing community
Fisherfolk and their families can get their teeth checked for free as part of a harbourside tour to tackle inequalities.
Smile Together Dental CIC will offer dental checks, oral cancer screenings and emergency treatment at four fishing ports in Cornwall and Devon next week.
The aim is to ease any existing dental complications, including fillings, tooth extractions and scale and polish.
They will also refer via the NHS where more complex treatment is required.
In addition, oral health packs – which include a toothbrush, toothpaste, oral health tips and a two-minute timer – will be handed out to patients.
Joy Callender, project lead, says they hope the initiative will help to battle inequalities.
‘This will be the fifth year Smile Together have visited local harboursides,’ she said.
‘Although in Autumn 2020 it was an oral health tour as the pandemic meant we were unable to provide treatment from a mobile dental unit.
‘We’re passionate about tackling oral health inequality in our communities. In this case it’s helping to improve the oral health of fisherfolk who so rarely get to see a dentist due to the demands of their work.’
She added: ‘We are so looking forward to making a difference in our coastal communities next week.’
The scheme, funded by Smile Together, will be delivered in partnership with The Fisherman’s mission and Healthy Cornwall.
Kicking off at Newlyn on Monday 4 October, it will then stop over at Newquay and Mevagissey. It will finally conclude in Brixham on Friday 8 October.
Previous patients have praised the scheme for getting them out of pain. ‘I should have taken much better care of my teeth years ago. I will definitely come back to see you next year,’ one said.
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