Dundee churches team up with dental students to hand out supplies to struggling families

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Churches in Dundee have teamed up with dental students to launch an initiative to collect and distribute donations to help struggling local families.

Congregations at Meadowside St Paul’s and St Andrew’s parish churches have been collecting supplies, including toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, after reverends spoke about the difficulties faced by some local families who are too poor to afford even the most basic necessities. The churches have been working with Toothy Tigers, a group of students from Dundee University, to improve standards of oral health in the local community. The students have been visiting local schools and nurseries to talk to children about improving their oral health, and they wanted to get involved in the campaign to distribute oral health packs.

Reverend Caroline Taylor said she was shocked to hear that some families are sharing brushes because they can’t afford to buy individual brushes for each person. After speaking to the congregations of the two churches, the team was inundated with donations and offers of help.

Prof Peter Mossey, from the university’s School of Dentistry, said that deprivation is a major cause for concern in some parts of the city and this is highlighted by the fact that some families can’t afford to buy toothbrushes and toothpaste. Prof Mossey said that he was delighted that the community had reacted so positively and given so generously.

The health board has worked hard to improve standards of oral health in Dundee, and there have been remarkable results, but some people are slipping through the net. Prof Massey is hoping that efforts will be stepped up north of Kingsway where there is a real need for help.

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