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Brush DJ receives funding to improve the oral health of Greater Manchester’s most vulnerable children


  Posted by: The Probe      7th June 2019

Brush DJ, the free and NHS approved toothbrushing app has today been announced as winning support from Health Innovation Manchester’s Momentum Fund to improve the oral health of Greater Manchester’s most vulnerable children.

Tooth decay is a preventable disease, yet in Greater Manchester £6 million is spent extracting multiple decayed teeth in children every year. 7 of the 10 localities are included in the 30 areas of poorest children’s oral health in England.  

This project will see the innovative Brush DJ team linking in with Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership (GMHSC) and the University of Manchester to develop and evaluate a digital package to support adoption of the app in high risk communities.

Dentist and CEO of Brush DJ Ltd, Ben Underwood said, “We know that around 40% of children did not see an NHS dentist last year.  By working with children’s centres in parts of the country where 50% of children start school with visible dental decay, Brush DJ will be actively reaching out to those most in need and supporting children, parents and carers to form healthy dental behaviours for life.”

Ben Squires, Head of primary care operations, Greater Manchester Health & Social Care Partnership said, “Oral health is a key indicator of school readiness and we are committed to ensuring that we rapidly reduce the numbers of children suffering from preventable tooth decay.  As a system we have already implemented a regional programme of prevention in our priority areas which includes supervised toothbrushing programmes and distribution of brushing packs by our health visitors. We are really excited to add Brush DJ as a digital intervention to improve the oral health of children in Greater Manchester.”

Professor Anne-Marie Glenny, Head of the Division of Dentistry at the University of Manchester said, “The University of Manchester is delighted to put our expertise behind this exciting project.  We look forward to working with the Brush DJ team to provide an independent evaluation of this digital intervention.  We are committed to exploring innovative approaches to improving children’s oral health.”

Richard Deed, Technology Director at Trustech and Associate Director of Industry for Health Innovation Manchester, said: “This Momentum Fund call focused on the use of digital technologies in mental health and community care, and we were pleased to receive many high-quality applications. This made selecting the winners quite challenging but using a panel of relevant and commercially focused experts we were able to select a small number of diverse but successful applicants with whom we look forward to working with and as in previous rounds of Health Innovation Manchester’s innovation funds, we will be recording their impact on the local healthcare system.” 

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