Smiles at Sea: Fishing community gets pop up dental treatment on harbourside

  • Watch Kathy Wardle's report

Fishing communities are being offered free dental checks in five ports across Cornwall and Devon.

A mobile dental unit operated by community interest company Smile Together CIC is touring Mevagissey, Newquay, Padstow, Brixham and Newlyn.

The treatments include tackling any immediate dental problems, including simple tooth extractions, permanent fillings and scale and polishes. The project also offers referrals through NHS routes where more complex oral surgery is needed.

The service is available for fishermen and women and their families. Smile Together CIC says the nature of the job means people who work in the fishing community can often struggle to make or get to appointments.

The mobile dental unit in Mevagissey Credit: ITV News

Smiles at Sea Project lead Joy Callender said: “This will be the sixth year Smile Together have visited local harboursides.

"We’re passionate about tackling oral health inequality in our communities, in this case helping to improve the oral health of fisherfolk who so rarely get to see a dentist due to the demands of their work.”

Gorran Haven fisherman Robert Winter was amongst the first to use the Mevagissey pop up clinic.

He said: "A fisherman is governed by the weather and the tides, and tides always move. You might have an appointment at a certain time, but the tide might be right and you have to choose to be out fishing."

Smiles at Sea is funded and delivered by Smile Together in partnership with The Fishermen’s Mission and Healthy Cornwall, SeaFit and their partner network of healthcare providers.

Dates of the tour:

Mevagissey: 30th September 9.30am-3.30pm

Brixham: 3rd October 10.30-5pm

Brixham: 4th October 8am-2pm

Newquay: 5th October 11am-5pm

Padstow: 7th October 11am-5pm