A small community-based oral health project which has comprehensively demonstrated how effective it can be to initiate tooth-brushing programmes in schools has become the first winner of the newly created BSPD Outstanding Innovation Award. 
A small community-based oral health project which has comprehensively demonstrated how effective it can be to initiate tooth-brushing programmes in schools has become the first winner of the newly created BSPD Outstanding Innovation Award. 
 
Teeth Team was set up in 2010 in a deprived area of Hull. Through the commitment of its founders, the project won the support of schools, local dental practices, dental suppliers and politicians. The number of children from the area having a general anaesthetic for multiple extractions has since decreased by nearly 20% and Teeth Team has played a key role. 
 
The brainchild of Ingrid Perry, the project started modestly. She was working for a local area team in 2006 when she devised a children’s oral health scheme called Brush Bus. After funding was withdrawn, Ingrid won the support of a Hull practice-owner, Chris Groombridge of 543 Dental Centre. 
 
Said Ingrid, “Thanks to Chris, lots of doors began to open and the scheme grew into Teeth Team. Before I knew it we had local dental practices offering pro bono visits to schools and head teachers of other schools wanting us to set up schemes while Colgate and Henry Schein donated toothbrushes and paste and fluoride varnish. We have had so much support.” 
 
“In Hull there was a whole generation of families for whom it was normal never to see the dentist except to go to hospital to have teeth extracted. That’s all they know. But we got talking to children, broke down the barriers and now families are accessing routine dental care.” 
 
Ingrid said that when she heard the news of the award, she could not stop smiling. “Working in the dental profession, I know how highly regarded BSPD is and to win a BSPD award speaks volumes. I am very proud.” 
 
To read more about this project, click here. 
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