Devonport children and parents were treated to a special screening of a unique film aimed at tackling the city’s growing tooth decay problem.
“Open Wide and Step Inside” is a fun and interactive resource to help raise the profile of dental decay and disease and highlight the large number of children who are hospitalised for tooth extraction under general anaesthetic, 848 in Plymouth alone in 2015-16.
Produced by Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise (PDSE), Peninsula Dental School and Plymouth University, the film was shown at Action for Children’s Green Ark Children’s Centre in Fore Street, Devonport. The PDSE Community Engagement Team has established an excellent partnership with Green Ark over a number of years.
The project received financial support from the Wrigley Company Foundation and toothbrushes and toothpaste for children’s oral health packs from Henry Schein Inc.
The film stars Geoffrey the Giant and his friend Mouse who live in Smeaton’s Tower on Plymouth Hoe. Geoffrey has toothache as a result of eating sweets, drinking fizzy drinks and neglecting to clean his teeth properly. Mouse persuades him to visit Daisy the Dentist who finds the problem and gives Geoffrey a filling.
The animation was created by Plymouth University’s TELMeD team which produces e-learning tools and materials for medical, dental, Faculty of Health and other students.
Dr Robert Witton, Director of Social Engagement and Community-based Dentistry, PDSE, said: “We are incredibly proud of “Open Wide and Step Inside” which is making an important contribution to oral health education. We devised and delivered every aspect of the project, which includes the film, teachers’ resources and an oral health pack for every child. With more children being admitted to hospital for dental problems than for any health issue, data suggests new and innovative approaches are needed to encourage better cleaning, improved diet and frequent visits to the dentist. The project conveys precisely those messages to large numbers of local children. Our thanks go to the Wrigley Company Foundation, Henry Schein, local schools and the TELMeD team at Plymouth University.”