World Oral Health Day students (photo credit Kira Sharples)
World Oral Health Day students (photo credit Kira Sharples) 
Did you know that the health of your mouth is generally a good indicator of your overall health?
Students from the University of Plymouth’s Peninsula Dental School held a public event sharing this and more on World Oral Health Day.
From a game highlighting sugar content, to vaping advice and even a visit from the Tooth Fairy, the event focused on sharing tips and information on how to keep the mouth in the best possible condition.
The dental students spoke to over 175 people in just four hours, and Plymouth was also the only dental school in the UK to register its event on the World Oral Health Day events map, run by the FDI World Dental Federation. 
World Oral Health Day event 2024 (credit Kira Sharples)
World Oral Health Day event 2024 (credit Kira Sharples)
World Oral Health Day event 2024 (credit Kira Sharples)
Held in the University’s Roland Levinsky Building, the display was geared towards students and the wider community, and underpins the dental school’s focus on community engagement and oral health disease prevention. 
Dental healthcare students undertake community engagement projects as a core part of their undergraduate curriculum, working with their peers to develop a student-led, evidence-based project to address oral health needs.
This public event was the brainchild of third-year dental students, Emily Akister and Nadezhda Anim-Somuah, who wanted to do something in addition to their undergraduate studies to promote oral health education in the community.

I had an idea that we needed to do something to highlight simple tips and advice on World Oral Health Day, and after sharing with peers, the idea just grew from there.

Giving accurate advice and raising awareness of the importance of oral health is hugely important, especially when you consider its impact on the rest of the body too.
While we didn’t use the event to diagnose anyone if they had a problem, to be able to talk about the evidence underpinning good oral health was really valuable.
Third-year dental student and event co-organiser, Emily Akister 
The team that organised the event was supported by Peninsula Dental Social Enterprise, toothbrush manufacturer, TePe and mouthwash manufacturer, Listerine. Kira Sharples also provided media footage.

I’m so passionate about community engagement and love to think of creative ways to encourage people to prioritise their oral health.

We were pleased to see lots of people and we’re really proud of the work done – hopefully the event can become something of a tradition. 
Third-year dental student and event co-organiser, Nadia Anim-Somuah

We are really proud of the impact of our students’ work in and for the local community, and this is a great example of students going above and beyond to extend their reach even further.

Dentistry and Dental Therapy requires a huge number of skills in addition to clinical excellence – such as communication and educating others – and these student colleagues have shown such skills outstandingly here. 

Ewen McCollEwen McColl
Head of Peninsula Dental School

Outstanding contribution to the local community winner
Dental oral health

Faculty of Health

Exceptional clinical and academic learning, social engagement and research in medicine, dentistry, nursing, psychology and health professions.