Teeth Team, the award-winning child oral health improvement programme, has received £137,000 investment from Simplyhealth.

Teeth Team, which was set up in 2010 in Hull, works to improve the oral health of children in socially deprived communities.

The investment from Simplyhealth will enable Teeth Team to continue its work and roll out its programme to an additional 50 schools in 2017.

Furthermore, Simplyhealth Professionals and its member dentists have pledged to be proactively involved in delivering the programme as it expands.

‘We are absolutely delighted to receive this momentous support and investment from Simplyhealth to our charity’, commented Chris Groombridge, chair of trustees for Teeth Team.

‘To be working in partnership on this level means that moving forward we can expand the programme into scores of new schools in other areas of need and continue to make a real different in child oral health.

‘What is important about this partnership is that it’s not just financial – it is a commitment to the charity on other levels and grows our network of support as we push to take this essential programme national.’

Henry Clover, director of dental policy at Simplyhealth Professionals, said: ‘We are incredibly excited about being involved with Teeth Team.

‘Simplyhealth Professionals is ideally placed to provide practical, proactive support through our member dentists, some of whom will have the opportunity to visit these schools and help children understand the importance of preventive oral health care through the Teeth Team programme.’

Helping local children

In the last two years, Teeth Team has recorded a reduction of 19.8% in local children experiencing dental extractions under general anaesthetic.

The oral health survey for five-year-old children 2014-15 in Hull, carried out by Public Health England Survey (DPH), recorded an improvement from 43.4% to 37.8%.

Last month Teeth Team won the Outstanding Innovation Award 2017 from the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD).

The programme was described as ‘excellent’ and a ‘clear winner’ by the BSPD executive judges.

As the prize for winning, Teeth Team will present to the BSPD’s Annual Conference and Scientific Meeting, to be held in Manchester in September.

Philanthropy

Roger Cotton, head of charitable giving at Simplyhealth, said of Teeth Team: ‘This programme presents a great opportunity to provide hard evidence that demonstrates the effectiveness of the ‘prevention’ approach to better oral health amongst the five- to nine-year-old age group.’

On the theme of charitable giving, Simplyhealth has pledged to donate 10% of pre-tax profits to health-related charitable causes in 2017.

‘In the longer-term, we also hope that the accumulating evidence as the project expands can be used to lobby government and encourage it to divert a percentage of the savings realised by Teeth Team for the NHS to help fund further expansion of the project to other areas and schools’, continued Roger.