Pilgrim Pete ‘opened wide’ when he popped in for a check-up at Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE) last week.The popular Plymouth Argyle mascot visited the social enterprise’s Devonport dental education facility (DEF) to thank a group of dental students from Plymouth University Peninsula School of Dentistry for their work in partnership with the club’s community development team.
The second year students designed a sports-themed primary school oral health lesson to complement the club’s ‘Kinder+Sport’ initiative, a six-week programme designed to encourage healthy and active lifestyles.
The oral health workshop and physical activity session were then delivered to year five pupils at Ford Park Primary School.
The project formed part of Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry’s Inter-Professional Engagement (IPE) programme, which enables undergraduates to work and engage with different groups in a range of community settings.
Tutor and Lecturer in Community Based Dentistry Sarah Hill said: “The project was a great success and particularly topical as it happened around the same time as the sugar tax was announced.”
Student Michael Redd said: “The classroom session we delivered went well as it was really interactive and we were surprised how much the children already knew about oral health. We then used the activity element to highlight the sugar content in sports drinks and this made the content relevant for nine and ten year-olds.
“The project helped us to get used to managing children which was a really valuable experience as we will go on to treat children in our third year.“
Argyle Community Trust Football Development Manager Jason Chapman said: “The feedback from the children was outstanding. The session really improved understanding of the impact of sugar in sports drinks on oral health and the link with football was seen as really positive.”
Organised by PDSE’s Community Engagement team, IPEs provide students with experiential learning opportunities and contribute to oral health awareness and improving access to dental care. Teams of students work under academic supervision with community organisations.