Promoting oral health promotion within community settings

The Dental Outreach Team (DOT) was re-formed in 2021 to co-ordinate and deliver community outreach projects and clinical interventions with PDSE. The team provides and promotes oral health promotion within community settings and develops projects and initiatives across the South West Peninsula. The Dental Outreach Team are also key in providing support for the many research projects that are undertaken by PDSE. 

Inter-Professional Engagement (IPE) 

IPE introduces students to core academic skills in exploring, searching and selecting evidence-based information as well as developing community awareness to better understand their role in the community and healthcare setting. Students work with many different community and healthcare organisations including Barnardos, Plymouth Community Homes and Improving Lives Plymouth. 

IPE Symposium Booklet 2020-2021 

National Smile Month Team photo
Tooth brushing model

Supervised Tooth Brushing programme  

Focusing supervised tooth brushing in early years settings such as nurseries and primary schools provides a suitable environment for children to learn about the importance of brushing their teeth regularly. The Supervised Tooth Brushing Programme focuses on the key messages of;  

  • Brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste containing 1350-1500 parts per million (ppm) Fluoride
  • How much toothpaste to use for each age group 
  • Spit not rinse after brushing

We work in partnership with local charity Well Connected to provide teaching staff with the tools and knowledge to run and support supervised tooth brushing sessions after mealtimes.  

 There are currently 224 settings across Devon taking part in this programme and since 2019, the Dental Outreach Team have distributed over 20,000 packs to support with tooth brushing at home.  


Open Wide & Step Inside 

Open wide & Step inside is a programme that has been aimed at supporting teachers to deliver key oral health messages to children aged 4 to 7. Using specially designed animations and resources, children are introduced to ‘Geoffrey the Giant’ who quickly learns the consequences of not looking after his teeth. With the help of friends, Geoffrey learns the importance of oral health and regular visits to his Dentist.  

To find out more about the Open Wide & Step Inside programme, please contact us by email:

Child reading book

The British Antarctic Survey Medical Unit (BASMU)

Each year BASMU send Doctors to support Arctic/Antarctic research teams during their ‘over wintering’ period. The Dental Outreach Team work with the medical unit to deliver a 4 days course which gives an overview of common dental emergency and trauma cases and their treatment. They also learn the basics of dental anatomy and charting, radiography anaesthesia and tooth extraction. 

Oral Health Champion Training 

Our 2-hour training sessions introduce oral health in a way that is interesting and understandable, we focus on what caused dental disease and how it can be prevented. The aim of the training sessions it to give people the confidence to talk to their peers about good oral health and tools to help people look after their own mouths. We also discuss the importance of regular self-assessments to detect early signs of mouth cancer. 

Since January 2021, we have delivered sessions to local charity PAUSE and Plymouths Glenbourne unit. We are looking forward to delivering more sessions to organisations including the Cornwall Dietetics team and Plymouth Speech and Language team.  

child at the dentist

Future Projects

Supporting Smiles – Age UK Plymouth.

This project is aimed at helping people who are living with acute Dementia and their carers.

Support will include visiting local dementia day care centres to provide guidance and inter active demonstrations on tooth brushing and denture care as well as information on cross contamination procedures, storage and disposal of toothbrushes and oral health education sessions.

Fit & Fed – Plymouth City Council

We have been asked to support the local Fit & Fed project by attending a number of sessions over the Easter and summer holidays to providing interactive activities for the children and oral health information for parents.  

Supporting People Experiencing Homelessness

We are supporting The Shekinah Mission by attending their Saturday morning drop-in sessions. These sessions are essential for people who are in need of a hot meal, shower, clean, dry clothes and help with accessing vital support networks. We offer information about Oral cancer self-assessment and general oral health information.  

If you would like more information on how to get involved with IPE or Dental Outreach projects please email