A DENTAL practice has provided free care for children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

For the seventh year running, Bupa Dental Care Ripon has partnered with the charity Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline to provide free check-ups, hygienist appointments and guidance on good oral care.

Natalie Oddy, receptionist at the practice, said: “Sadly, the effects of the Chernobyl disaster continue to be felt to this day. Access to quality healthcare remains a significant challenge in Belarus, so we’re keen to support these children in whatever way we can.

“Educating and encouraging children to take good care of their mouth, teeth and gums is incredibly important. Tooth decay is an entirely preventable disease, so by practicing good oral care now we can help the children set patterns for the rest of their lives.”

The charity brings a group of children from Ukraine to the UK each year to boost their physical and mental health, whilst giving them a period of respite.

Louise Hudson, Chernobyl Children’s Lifelife group co-ordinator, added: “We’d like to thank the staff at Bupa Dental Care Ripon for giving up their time and accommodating the children.

“These visits are hugely beneficial for the children who receive health check-ups and a variety of other trips and activities. The whole town has been so supportive.

“As a charity, we are reliant on the goodwill of companies such as Bupa Dental Care and we are very grateful that they are on hand to help provide the children with some much needed care and respite.”

Dozens of young Ukrainians has been able to benefit from the free treatment since the dental practice got onboard with the charity's initiative.

Dentist Kate Knowlson, added: “This is the seventh year that the charity has come to visit. During their appointment with us, the children received a full dental examination, appropriate treatment and they also left with a goody bag, including school supplies and tooth-brushing essentials.”