This year’s #SmilesAtSea fishing community tour of Cornwall and Devon was a resounding success, Smile Together claims.
Above all 173 members of the fishing community received free dental checks and emergency treatment from Smile Together.
Indeed #SmilesatSea visited nine fishing ports in three weeks – from Newlyn and Hayle in the far west to Brixham in the south and Ilfracombe in the north.
‘The response this year has been amazing,’ Joy Callender, who has led on #SmilesatSea for the last three years, said.
‘We saw 134 fishermen, 30 family members and nine children from the fishing community.
‘That’s an average of 13 patients each day.
‘Everyone had a dental check-up with 81 fishermen – almost twice as many as last year – referred for further treatment locally with our Brighter Dental team.
‘In addition around a quarter needed immediate treatment
‘We ended up doing 40 fillings and nine extractions at the harbour side.
‘Our dental team hardly stopped!’
Free health checks for the fishing community
And it wasn’t only free dental treatment on offer to the fishing community.
A number of other local health care providers from physiotherapists to healthy lifestyle advisers joined the dental team.
This is the third year Smile Together has offered free dental checks and treatment to the fishing community.
‘We know how hard it is to fit in a visit to the dentist if you’re out at sea,’ Seafit project delivery manager, Carol Elliott, said.
‘So we’ve made it easier by bringing free dental check-ups, immediate dental treatment and oral cancer screening to the harbour side.
‘Many of the fishermen we saw hadn’t seen a dentist for years.
‘And were full of praise for the treatment they received.’
‘Thank you for caring’
Health checks were a particular success amongst the fishing community, with half of the dental patients having a ‘personal MOT’.
In addition blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and blood sugar checks are offered to patients.
Consequently the fishing community was full of praise for the dental checks and treatment, with comments including:
‘Can’t tell you how great it is that you’ve been here today. I haven’t had my teeth checked in a long time. They are now much cleaner and I feel a lot better, and I now have a referral to mend my broken teeth so I am very happy.’
‘Thank you for caring about the fishing families.’