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Charities to visit schools as part of oral health campaign

UHNM Charity and the Stoke City Community Trust have joined forces to launch a campaign to highlight the damage fizzy drinks and foods with high sugar content are having on the teeth of young people in Staffordshire.

Together with the Keep Stoke Smiling Campaign, we are aiming to improve the dental health of children, teenagers and young adults across the county.

The partnership between the two charities and the Orthodontic Team at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) will see more than 5,000 tubes of toothpaste handed out to local schools and community groups.

As well as distributing the toothpaste, which was donated by Colgate, the Keep Stoke Smiling team will also raise dental health awareness and promote the benefits of a nice smile, through an interactive PHSE Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education workshop/ lesson.

Figures show that Stoke-on-Trent currently sits near the bottom of the UK league table for dental health in children, with a quarter of five-year-olds suffering some form of tooth decay. The average child misses four school days per year due to pain from tooth decay, with five-year-olds consuming their own bodyweight in sugar and a bathtub full of fizzy drinks annually. 

Karen Juggins, Consultant Orthodontist at UHNM, who leads the @KeepStokeSmiling campaign said: "It's great to be working alongside UHNM Charity and Stoke City Community Trust to highlight to young people the importance of looking after their teeth and the benefits of a nice smile. Stoke-on-Trent sits in the bottom quarter of the UK’s league table for tooth decay in children, which costs the NHS £36m per year. Increased consumption of sugary and fizzy drinks is a big contributing factor to this sad statistic and an everyday battle for our Orthodontic Team in Stoke. I'm enormously grateful to Colgate UK, who have kindly donated the toothpaste for distribution in local schools and to UHNM Charity and Stoke City Community Trust who have committed to help Keep Stoke Smiling!"

UHNM Charity Manager, Steve Rushton: “It’s fabulous that we can work together with the Stoke City Community Trust to help improve dental care across Staffordshire.

Working together, we can deliver toothpaste to local schools, and communities, and educate people on the benefits of looking after their teeth.”

In total thousands of pupils across the county will benefit from a visit over the coming weeks by the Stoke City Community Trust and UHNM Charity staff.

Adrian Hurst, Head of Community at Stoke City Football Club said: “It was a very easy decision to get involved and support this project, it’s really important we look after our teeth and by working partnership with Orthodontic Team at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) and UHNM Charity we are really excited about how we might be able to influence young people to take greater care of their teeth.

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