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#SmilesatSeaUK delivered for a seventh consecutive year

Smile Together Dental CIC Stand: J51
Fisherman (Joe) holding Smiles at Sea frame in front of mobile dental unit

Autumn 2023 saw us delivering our seventh annual award-winning harbourside tour for fishermen and their families across Cornwall and Devon.

We have been visiting local fishing communities with our mobile dental unit every year since 2017 to provide oral cancer screening and urgent and emergency dental care to fishermen and their dependent family members who can otherwise struggle to access a dentist due to the demands of their work and location.

Funded by Seafarers Hospital Society and Smile Together and delivered in partnership with The Fishermen’s Mission as part of their national SeaFit service, including their partner network of healthcare providers, Smiles at Sea was once again a huge success.

We’ve proudly published our Impact Special Edition showcasing #SmilesAtSeaUK 2023 and our thanks to everyone who helped us make such a difference to those in our coastal communities.

We visited 8 harbourside locations between September and December 2023 treating 119 fishermen (active and retired) and their dependent family members, 11% of whom hadn’t visited a dentist for 5 years or more.  We provided a range of dental treatment from oral health education, check-ups and x-rays to fillings and tooth extractions/root removals. 100% of adult patients received oral cancer screening and 4 patients were referred on for more complex urgent care, minor oral surgery or for suspected oral cancer.

97% of patients who attended rated their visit to Smiles at Sea as excellent and said they would visit us again.

We gave out oral health packs to all the fishermen and their families who attended which included top dental tips along with a toothbrush, toothpaste and a 2-minute toothbrushing timer. Healthy Cornwall provided free health checks, advice and guidance and, in some locations, we were also joined by SeaFit healthcare partners including Healthwatch Cornwall, Macmillan Cancer Support, The Hepatitis C Trust, Fairwinds Cornwall and Diabetes UK.

Every eligible person who saw our dentist was entered into a free prize draw and congratulations to Barry, our winner this year. We also encouraged local schools and others in each coastal community to visit us harbourside and bring along their old toothbrushes, empty toothpaste tubes and associated packaging for recycling through our commitment to Colgate TerraCycle.

We added further value for coastal communities this year by completing a beach clean in Newquay, contributing to the Surfers Against Sewage ‘Millon Mile Clean’ – just what you’d expect from a B Corporation team who celebrated their certification on the beach at Godrevy!

Our Smiles at Sea partnership project is such a great example of an integrated healthcare initiative where every contact counts. No wonder we generated such an array of media coverage and our thanks to all those who supported us.

Click here to download your digital version of our Impact Special Edition 2023 and here to watch the new ‘Checking for oral cancer’ video that our Therapist Natalie created with the Oral Health Foundation during Mouth Cancer Action Month.

We took lots of lovely photos from the harbourside in 2023 – visit our gallery here and see if you can spot yourself or someone you know!

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