18 Jun 20

Tamsyn McKenna, who is a part-time dental nurse and oral health educator, as well as a student at Teesside University, has appealed to the dental industry for products and has been taking them to a variety of settings which cannot access dental care.

‘As a student of dental hygiene and dental therapy, I know that good oral health is paramount, and I had been thinking about how best to use the knowledge I have gained in order to help out during the COVID-19 crisis,’ said Tamsyn, who also works part-time at a practice in Billingham near Middlesbrough.

She contacted several oral care brands and ‘the response has been overwhelming, especially the generosity of BioMin Technologies,’ she added. BioMin has donated 500 tubes of BioMin® C, the fluoride-free variant of their innovative remineralisation and sensitivity toothpaste. She has also received samples from TePe, Piksters and Oralieve, which she has boxed up into packages for vulnerable groups.

Tamsyn has delivered a selection of products to care homes, and several charities working with hygiene poverty and homelessness, as well as Changing Lives, a charity which helps individuals who have experienced hardship of many types. She also delivered some toothpaste to a local food bank. ‘They were so pleased,’ she said. ‘People associate a food bank only with food, and oral care tends to be overlooked.’

She still has a few boxes left to deliver and these are destined for care homes near her home in Northumberland. ‘It’s particularly difficult for these vulnerable groups to access dental care at this time, so I think it’s very important to do what I can to give back.’ Tamsyn hopes to go back to university in the autumn for her third year of study.

‘For me personally, organising the deliveries has been a wonderful experience, and it is very humbling to give something back in these very difficult times,’ she said.

A dental hygiene and therapy student is giving her time in lockdown to deliver supplies of oral hygiene products to vulnerable groups.