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West Norfolk councillor Alex Kemp donates 157 toothbrushes to West Lynn Primary School – and highlights dental issues in borough





A councillor has donated more than 150 toothbrushes to a primary school in a generous move to kick-start a new health campaign.

Borough councillor Alex Kemp purchased 157 children's toothbrushes and 157 tubes of children's toothpaste from Lynn's stores and supermarkets last weekend, and donated them to West Lynn Primary School during the week.

This meant it became the first school to receive this as part of the West Norfolk Dental Campaign, which was recently set up to improve oral hygiene across the area.

The reception class at West Lynn Primary School, with Mrs G Grimmer, is joined by Cllr Alex Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh
The reception class at West Lynn Primary School, with Mrs G Grimmer, is joined by Cllr Alex Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh

A toothbrush and tube of toothpaste was handed to every child in time for the Great Christmas Toothbrushing Challenge.

Meanwhile, Sabina, a miniature sabre-toothed tiger mascot which was donated by Cllr Michael de Whalley, also visited youngsters on the day.

“This is a fun initiative, with an important public health message,” Cllr Kemp said.

Miss Cooper's Year One class is joined by Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh
Miss Cooper's Year One class is joined by Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh

“The Integrated Care System's (ICS) Short Term Dental Health Plan in September shows West Norfolk has the worst prevalence of tooth decay in the East of England among five-year-olds, and increasing numbers of 15 to 19-year-olds being referred to secondary care for tooth extraction.

“When I asked what they are going to do about it, the ICS agreed to fund local dental surgeries up to £20,000 each, to carry out dental prevention work on an interim basis for young people.

“But residents cannot get children registered with a dentist. There needs to be root and branch reform of the National Dental Contract and proper funding to incentivise dentists to work in the NHS, and the return of the school dentist.”

Cllr Kemp met with various teachers and pupils at the West Lynn school during her visit earlier in the week.

Teacher Laura Gunton and her class with Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh
Teacher Laura Gunton and her class with Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh

They included the reception class and teacher Mrs Grimmer, as well as teachers such as Laura Gunton, Miss Cooper and teaching assistant Angela Harris.

Cllr Kemp added: “All young people in West Norfolk should be able to register with an NHS dentist, as they could when I was a child, and so should all residents.

Cllr Alex Kemp with staff at West Lynn Primary School. Picture: Mike Fysh
Cllr Alex Kemp with staff at West Lynn Primary School. Picture: Mike Fysh

“This is a rich country, but we are underfunding basic public health services like NHS dentistry. This is leads to other more costly health interventions, as a leading cause of admission to hospital for young children is tooth extraction.”

Cllr Alex Kemp delivered toothbrushes to pupils at West Lynn Primary School. Picture: Mike Fysh
Cllr Alex Kemp delivered toothbrushes to pupils at West Lynn Primary School. Picture: Mike Fysh
A welcome boost for youngsters' oral hygiene. Picture: Mike Fysh
A welcome boost for youngsters' oral hygiene. Picture: Mike Fysh
Miss Tuvey and, centre left, teaching assistant Angela Harris with their class and Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh
Miss Tuvey and, centre left, teaching assistant Angela Harris with their class and Cllr Kemp. Picture: Mike Fysh


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