Teeth Team logoWe’re proud to announce that our very own Clinical Director, David Ward is running this year’s London Marathon on Sunday 21st April 2024, for a cause that’s very close to our hearts at 543 Dental Centre!

Many of our patients will be familiar with David as he has been a dentist at 543 for over 30 years and is Clinical Director of both our practice and Teeth Team, a 543-backed child dental health improvement charity, based in Hull and surrounding areas.

David will be running the marathon in aid of Teeth Team and in this article we’ll be looking into why it’s such an important and worthwhile cause.

What is Teeth Team?

Teeth Team is an award-winning educational programme that serves primary school children in Hull and surrounding areas, striving to provide all children with the dental care they deserve.

The programme delivers oral healthcare directly to schools, including the establishment of daily supervised toothbrushing that takes place in the classroom, as well as regular application of fluoride varnish and clinical assessments by visiting dental teams. This ensures that all pupils, no matter their background or where they are from, receive dental care.

543 Dental Centre has been actively involved with Teeth Team since its early stages in 2010, and has played a key role in its development into the impactful oral health programme it is today. Over Teeth Team’s years of operation – and 543’s involvement – the programme became the first ever winner of the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry’s ‘Outstanding Innovation’ award in 2017, presented its annual report in Westminster in 2018, and has now grown into a nationally recognised programme.

Why it’s such an important cause

When Teeth Team was first established in 2010 it was due to an increasing concern for children’s dental health, especially the high incidence of tooth decay. While Teeth Team has worked hard to make a difference, tooth decay continues to be one of the biggest health issues threatening the future health and economic prosperity of children in the UK.

According to the latest statistics, an average of 3 school days per year are missed due to tooth decay, and tooth decay is the number 1 cause of child hospital admission. Furthermore, childhood tooth decay has been found to vary based on geographical area, with children in Yorkshire and The Humber more likely to experience tooth decay (23%) than children living in the South West (12%).

Tooth decay impacts children’s ability to talk, eat, sleep and go to school, which are all things that impact their short-term and long-term general health and livelihood. Teeth Team believes that no child should have their future disrupted by tooth decay.

The poor state of UK children’s dental health is a hot topic in the lead up to the next general election, with pledges to introduce supervised brushing schemes nationwide – just like Teeth Team has been doing for over 14 years.

How you can help

Teeth Team has grown significantly since 2010 thanks to support from partners, individuals and independent organisations who have given their endorsement, but the programme is always in need of further support to be able to reach more schools and children across the region.

This is why 543’s David Ward is taking on the challenge of raising more money for Teeth Team by running the London Marathon, and every little helps to provide Teeth Team with the means to forge ahead with their programme.

Please show your support for Teeth Team and David ahead of the 21st of April by donating whatever you can to his JustGiving fundraising page.

Learn more about Teeth Team and how you can get involved here.