Funding for oral health programme in Ilfracombe

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A new oral health programme will be launched in Ilfracombe, Devon, after health bosses successfully secured funding from the British Dental Health Foundation and the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund.

Northern Devon NHS Trust was one of 12 organisations to bid successfully for funding; the money will now be used to pay for oral health educators to work in Ilfracombe. Funding will also be used to pay for open days at public venues and to enable teachers and health professionals to promote oral health over the coming years.

Money will also be available to launch a fluoride varnish programme for six year olds in the area; fluoride helps to strengthen the teeth and reduce rates of decay.

Ilfracombe was selected because oral health standards are poor; statistics revealed that 3 out of 5 people living in the area do not visit their dentist on a regular basis. Colin Flanagan, lead oral health promoter for NHS North Devon, said that the money will enable the trust to focus on Ilfracombe, where there is clearly a problem with oral health. It is hoped that the main oral health programme will be a great success and this will enable health bosses to launch other smaller projects in areas where there is a similar need.

The programme has been funded by the British Dental Health Foundation’s Oral Health Education Project, which is supported by the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund. Wrigley’s is celebrating its centenary this year and the company has joined forces with the BDHF, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

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