Toothbrushing packs are being distributed to foodbanks and other organisations in the community.
Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council have secured £100,000 of ring-fenced funding from NHS England to buy and distribute toothbrushing packs to foodbanks and other organisations in the community, who provide support for vulnerable people and families.
Toothbrushing packs will include age-appropriate toothbrushes and toothpaste, and will be distributed across a number of organisations who participated in a similar project in 2022.
The participating organisations help vulnerable and deprived communities who can be most at risk of experiencing poor oral health.
The packs are being distributed to help enable people who are currently unable to purchase these supplies, to brush their teeth by the recommended two times a day.
In the city the distribution of oral health products is being co-ordinated by the Hygiene Bank, while participating organisations in the county will either receive a delivery or collect directly from Bunzl Cleaning & Hygiene Supplies.
Poor oral health is a major public health concern and can have a negative impact on our overall health and wellbeing and affect what we eat, how we communicate and our self-confidence.
The build-up of plaque in the mouth, through poor dental hygiene, can result in tooth decay or gum infections, which in turn can lead to tooth loss or gum disease.
Twice daily brushing with a fluoride toothpaste can help prevent the build-up of plaque, keeping the teeth and mouth healthy.
Good dental hygiene also taught at a young age can have long-term benefits for children’s teeth, such as fewer lost days at nursery and school, and lead to better overall health and wellbeing as they grow up.
Councillor Scott Carlton, the council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, said: “Good oral health is important for everyone, and we want to make sure that everyone across the county has the means to maintain it.
“These toothbrushing packs are a simple but powerful way to help those who are most vulnerable. Providing not just the tools, but the dignity of self-care.
“We’re working with some great organisations to get these packs to the people who need them the most, and we’ll keep doing whatever we can to help people stay healthy. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s what being part of a community is all about.”
Councillor Linda Woodings, Nottingham City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “Under current financial pressures, due to the cost of living crisis, some households are having to make very difficult choices about what they can and cannot buy.
“In these situations, items such as new toothbrushes and toothpaste could be seen as less important than essentials such food and heating.
“Organisations who support people in financial stress like foodbanks don’t always have a continuous supply of oral health products to give out to people who need them.
“This funding will help us to maintain a supply, ensuring people have access to the products and information they need to support good oral health.”
For information and tips on how to maintain healthy teeth and gums visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-teeth-and-gums/