Advocate for children’s oral health appointed CBE

Advocate for children?s oral health appointed CBE

The indomitable Claire Stevens – aka the Toothfairy – has been appointed CBE – Commander of the Order of the British Empire– in the 2019 New Year’s Honours List in recognition of her tireless commitment to improving children’s oral health. As their official spokesperson and immediate past President, the British Society of Paediatric Dentistry (BSPD) are proud beyond measure. There were no other 'dental' names on the list.

Claire has been awarded the highest of the three orders of the British Empire, recognising the importance of children’s dentistry, her work for the BSPD and the commitment she has shown to being an advocate for children’s oral health. Healthy teeth for life should be every child’s right and this is the message that Claire works to share and promote. She is relentlessly positive - dental decay is almost entirely preventable and by working together, everyone in healthcare can play a part in reducing the scourge of dental decay.

In her day job, working as a Consultant in Paediatric Dentistry in Greater Manchester’s Health and Social Care Partnership, she has made her mark. Jon Rouse, Chief Officer of GMHSCP, supported her nomination for recognition in the Honours List. She is the chair of the Managed Clinical Network for Paediatric Dentistry in Greater Manchester and an expert advisor to the Brush DJ app.

At Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Claire has taken a lead role in ensuring that the whole child is assessed, not just the teeth, signposting families onto other services.  She has been instrumental in connecting her hospital with a programme designed to reduce obesity in Greater Manchester’s children.  As a result, many of those working with children in the city and beyond are sharing important key messages in relation to diet and oral hygiene.

A mother to two young children and the founder of the Toothfairy blog - www.toothfairyblog.org, she has thrown herself both personally and professionally into reversing the tide of general anaesthetics for multiple extractions in children. Claire commented: ”This award feels momentous because it has been made for services to children’s oral health.  At last we are recognising the importance of supporting every child to grow up free of dental disease.”

She continued: “I am the public face of the campaign to improve children’s oral health, but this isn’t just about me.  Others have smoothed the way, and I am privileged to work alongside many people who continue to dedicate their lives to improving children’s health. My advocacy has only worked thanks to all those who collaborate and work with me, in BSPD, in Greater Manchester and within the profession. To them I pay tribute.”

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