In March 2016 Dentaid purchased a mobile dental unit that will enable us to offer outreach dental care for vulnerable people. The Dentaid Van will go to homeless shelters, day centres and refuges to provide dental check-ups and emergency pain relieving treatments for people who find it difficult to access NHS dental care. The mobile dental unit will operated by volunteers and dental practices that want to offer outreach dentistry in their local communities. The Dentaid Van can also visit schools as part of oral health education initiatives. We hope that by offering children and their parents the chance to familiarise themselves with a dental clinic and equipment we can help to allay any fears and build up relationships between dental professionals and local families.
Imagine being in so much dental pain that you pulled out your own tooth. That’s what happened to Claire Skipper from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire. Claire had terrible toothache but couldn’t access an NHS dentist so she drank whisky and pulled out her own tooth with a pair of pliers in her garden shed. After hearing Claire’s story Dentaid launched the Real Junk Tooth Project in Dewsbury – a town with high levels of social deprivation where NHS dentists have long waiting lists. Thanks to the kind support of dentist Nick O Donovan and a team of volunteers, people could turn up at Dewsbury Dental Centre on a Thursday evening and receive pain-relieving emergency dental care. Between December and June more than 150 people benefited from the scheme and Dentaid is now looking at setting up similar schemes in other parts of the UK.
Bright Bites is an educational resource with lesson plans and experiments aimed at teaching children about their teeth. Dentaid was delighted to receive a £9100 grant from the People’s Postcode Lottery to extend the project at schools in Leeds. Volunteer dental professionals will visit schools to deliver a presentation about tooth brushing, recommended sugar consumption and hidden sugars in popular drinks and snacks. The children will be invited to take part in activities and ask questions, and we hope their parents can attend the sessions too. Everyone who takes part will receive a leaflet with tooth brushing advice and low sugar recipes along with a toothbrush, tube of toothpaste and a sticker.