At our practice, we enjoy getting involved with our local community, and each year for National Smile Month, we plan an outreach visit for either young children or the elderly, alternating between these groups each year.
This year, myself and our newest associate dentist, Sophie, went along to our local nursery to give a talk on oral health to over 40 young children.
We try hard to keep the visit fun for the children: we demonstrate good oral hygiene habits and good food choices, using interactive activities, as well as talking to the children about letting their parents help when they are brushing their teeth.
Sophie then counts their teeth and we both explain what a dental visit will be like. This helps show them that a visit to the dentist visit can be fun and positive – and not a scary thing!
We find talking and treating children in their own environment makes it relaxed and fun, and is a great way to get them thinking about the need to look after their teeth.
We encourage questions from the children, the staff and parents who are there.
We leave the children with goody bags and brushing charts, so they can take them home and talk to their parents about what they learnt.
The children sent us a thank you letter with photos of our visit, which we then displayed in our reception area, which helps show that we care about our local community and that we want to engage with them.
One of the staff commented:
“The parents really appreciate this and the children enjoy participating in the lovely educational activities that you conduct with them. We received very positive comments from our parents, and they particularly commented on the children being curious and asking them questions about “good” and “bad” foods to keep their teeth healthy.”
It takes a little bit of preparation and effort, but I think educating children is all very worthwhile, both for the children, their parents, and for us as a practice.
Oral Health Educator, Charles Landau Dental Surgery
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