Bringing back smiles to Blackpool’s most needy
After the success of last year’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’ oral health day created especially for Blackpool’s homeless and recovery community, the British Association of Dental Nurses (BADN), Horizon, Dentaid, and the Oral Health Foundation (OHF) teamed up again to bring emergency dental care to Blackpool’s most needy in time for Christmas.
Funded by Blackpool Council as part of the Horizon alcohol, drug and sexual health support service, the dental day, which took place on 1 December at the Horizon Freedom Building on Church Street, was aimed at people who would never normally go to an NHS dentist, often through extreme anxiety or for fear of being judged. The consequence of not visiting a dentist means that for many people, the pain of rotten or damaged teeth is a daily issue.
The event was staffed by a Dentaid volunteer dental team, volunteer BADN dental nurses and Horizon volunteers; with admin support from Janet Goodwin, Past President of the Oral Health Foundation, and Pam Swain, Chief Exec of BADN.
Over the course of the day, the team treated over 30 patients and performed 45 treatments on people who would have otherwise continued to live in daily pain. Every person who came along on the day received a bag containing information leaflets, toothbrush, alcohol-free mouth wash and a variety of toothpastes courtesy of the Oral Health Foundation who aim to raise awareness of dental self-care.
Pam Swain said: 'We are delighted to support this much needed initiative and I am so pleased that a number of BADN members offered their services. It is an excellent way for dental nurses to build up their knowledge of extreme dental cases.'
Janet Goodwin added: 'I was especially pleased to have been able to offer oral health education to many of the patients, and to distribute self-care information to everybody who came along. Dental care won’t be at the top of the list for people who are street homeless or dealing with addiction issues, but many took the first step today.'
Author: Julie Bissett