Poor Oral Health: A Local Problem

Tooth decay is largely preventable yet it remains a serious problem. Poor dental health impacts not only the individual’s health but also their wellbeing and that of their family – this is especially the case for children. Tower Hamlets has previously been deemed ‘one of the worst places for dental health in the country’; over 60% of children in the borough did not see a dentist in 2017. Tower Hamlets is the third worst borough in London for tooth decay and well above the national average.

Barts Communities Smiles: Our Aim

As a new student volunteering group for 2018, Barts Communities Smiles aims to raise awareness of oral health and deliver basic oral health promotion in community and school settings. This involves teaching and motivating healthy behaviours that also positively impact general health.

Having already established links with local schools, community groups, other student volunteering groups, the Institute of Dentistry and a number of external sponsors, we can promise an exciting and valuable volunteering experience. This is a great chance to meet other students, develop important professional skills and make a different in our local community.

BCS Events: This Term

  • 19 September: Freshers’ Fair

  • 06 October: The Big Volunteering Event

  • 10 October: Welcome Social

  • October: Event Collaboration with Colgate

  • November: Sugar Awareness Week 2018 (Action on Sugar)

  • November: Mouth Cancer Action Month

  • November: Sir Ludwig Guttman Centre Oral Health Promotion Day

  • November/December: Teddy Bear Hospital + Barts Communities Smiles Clinic

You can keep up to date with all our events and campaigns via our online spaces, including our social media pages, the BLSA website and the BLSA Volunteering Calendar.

Benefits to Volunteers

  • Practice your oral health communication skills.

  • Volunteering with us counts towards the ‘volunteering hours’ quota mandatory for the PTSR module in the BDS curriculum.

  • We provide general oral health promotion and event-specific training to all our volunteers. Additionally, we plan to hold other training workshops (including public engagement and health communication) to help our volunteers develop new and existing skills.

  • An opportunity to meet other dental student volunteers and make some new friends!

  • A fun, interactive volunteering experience where you can make a really positive impact on community health.

As a group, we’re an enthusiastic and friendly bunch passionate about helping our community. If you have any questions or new ideas, please do get in touch with us via any of our social media spaces – we’d love to hear from you! We are also open to any collaborations, so drop us an email at communitysmiles@bartslondon.com if interested.

We very much look forward to meeting you!


COmmittee 2018/19

President - Debra Chow

Treasurer - Steph Yeung

Training Officer - Zaineb Dubaissi

Event Coordinators - Ria Shah & Favour Onwudiwe

Communications Officer - Zunera Ahmed

External Affairs Officer - Natalie Liu