Ilfracombe benefits from Tooth Fairy windfall

A new scheme will be launched to tackle dental health in Ilfracombe this summer after it emerged three in five residents do not visit their dentist regularly.

Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust is hoping new funding will raise awareness and encourage people to attend more frequently.

The trust is one of 12 organisations in the country which successfully bid for funding from the British Dental Health Foundation and the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund.

It will help to pay for the work of oral health educators in Ilfracombe, re-located from other parts of Devon and feature open days and “Day Practices” at public venues. It will also train health professionals and teachers to help sustain long term oral health promotion in the town.

It is hoped around 4,000 local people will benefit and includes a fluoride varnish programme for six-year-olds.

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“This money will enable us to focus on Ilfracombe, an area of dental need where about three in five people do not attend the dentist regularly,” said Colin Flanagan, Lead in Oral Health Promotion for Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust.

“This project could be our first major scheme and we could then roll out the programmes into targeting other needy areas.”

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It is funded by the British Dental Health Foundation’s Oral Health Education Project, made possible by a donation of �100,000 from the Wrigley Tooth Fairy Fund.

The project is part of the Foundation’s 40th anniversary celebrations and Wrigley’s own centenary celebrations this year.

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