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Time to vote for city’s heroes of dental care

Smile Awards

IT’S time to vote for the health professionals, dental teams, teachers, nursery staff and volunteers who are doing the most to help improve oral health in Leicester.

Since early April, people have been nominating individuals and organisations for a Smile Award – the city council scheme that seeks to acknowledge those who go above and beyond to help keep the city’s teeth healthy.

Now, as the country marks National Smile Month (16 May – 16 June), a shortlist of nominees has been drawn up ­– and people have until 29 May to vote online for their favourites, before the winners are announced at a ceremony on 16 June.

Assistant city mayor for public health, Cllr Vi Dempster, said: “I hope that people in Leicester will join us in acknowledging those who work so hard to improve oral health by going to our website and voting for those who deserve this special recognition.”

Leicester’s Smile Awards will be made in the following categories:

  • Community Champion – Adults Award: The winner of this award will be an individual who works or volunteers in Leicester and has worked hard to improve oral health in the community where they work.

Nominations are:

  • Bharat Mehta – Doncaster Road Dental Practice
  • Pauline Rawle - Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Darcy Poolton, Georgina Sidwell, Danielle Burgess - Plans4rehab


  • Dental Practice Award, sponsored by GC UK:The winner of this award will be a dental practice in Leicester that goes the extra mile to improve the oral health of their community.

Nominations are:

  • JDRM Dental Care
  • Doncaster Road Dental Practice
  • Moti Smile Design Centre


  • Early Years Award, sponsored by Leicestershire Local Dental Committee: The winner of this award will be an early years setting that is passionate about improving the health of the children in their care and that works hard to support children and their parents to maintain good oral health.

Nominations are:

  • Kiddisafe Day Nursery
  • Kiddisafe Nursery Woodhill
  • Kiddycare Angels Pre School
  • Stanhope Day Nursery Ltd
  • Sunflowers Neighbourhood Nursery
  • Tiny Gems Day Nursery


  • Above and Beyond Award: The winner of this awards will be an individual who has shown a particular enthusiasm, passion and dedication to improving oral health in their setting or local community.

Nominations are:

  • Caroline Dunkley and Healthy Together admin team - Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust
  • Darcy Poolton, Georgina Sidwell, Danielle Burgess - Plans4rehab
  • Jenny Page-Falkner - Hamilton Nursery
  • Pauline Rawle - Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust


Two further Smile Awards will be announced at the ceremony on 16 June, recognising a school and an individual or group who put in extra effort to promote good oral health to children, young people and families. The Community Champion – Children Award is sponsored by DW Design & Print.

People can vote for their local dental heroes online at

Leicester’s Smile Awards are delivered in partnership with Health Education England.

National Smile Month is a charity campaign that champions the importance of good oral health.

During National Smile Month, the city council’s public health team will be out and about, handing out oral health packs to encourage people to look after their teeth and gums, while promoting four key messages:

  • brush teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for two minutes, last thing at night and once again during the day
  • clean between your teeth every day
  • cut down the amount of sugary food and drink you have – and reduce the frequency of your sugar consumption
  • visit a dentist regularly

Anyone who isn’t registered with a dentist can find help and information on the NHS website.





Since Leicester’s Healthy Teeth Happy Smiles programme was introduced in 2014, supervised toothbrushing has become standard practice in many nurseries and primary schools in Leicester.

The programme reminds parents that good oral health starts as soon as their baby’s first tooth appears. Teeth should be brushed with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day – and all babies should see a dentist before their first birthday.

In 2012, just 47% of five year olds in Leicester were free from tooth decay. Today, that figure has risen to more than 60%.