NHS children’s dentist offers educational programme

24th June 2019 | Posted by: Vanessa Giraud

The SpaDental outreach initiative has achieved a lot in the last year. Nursery and primary schools across Plymouth have invited our children’s dental health coordinators to visit. Since the programme started, they have met with about 1,500 children.

SpaDental NHS childrens dentist team talks to children in school

The Plymouth team having fun in a nursery school.

Now SpaDental expands the programme to Chard.

How can we help children?

SpaDental wants children to have healthy teeth. The three areas that our team talk about are:

Healthy eating, especially swapping out sugar

Children are encouraged to talk about foods that they like, and say which they think are good for them, and which may have too much sugar. It’s a great opportunity to talk about how to make good choices, and how important it is to know what’s in the food we eat.

How to clean teeth well

NHS childrens dentist has a toy dinosaur smiling to encourage brushingWith the help of Henry the Brushosaurus, the team demonstrates good technique, and usually children have the chance to practice too. Children are given timers to use, so they experience just how long two minutes is. They learn how to hold the brush, how to move methodically around all the surfaces of the teeth, and, most importantly, to “Spit! Don’t rinse!”

Visits to the dentist

The aim of the outreach team is not to promote any particular dentist, but to send a reminder home that children should visit a dentist every sixth months.  Appointments with NHS children’s dentists do not cost parents anything – the NHS covers the cost. We highly recommend that babies visit the dentist as soon as their first tooth appears. Infants, children and teenagers should attend regularly too.

At every dental appointment, an NHS children’s dentist checks the child’s teeth for signs of decay, or future decay. The dentist may ask questions about diet, home oral hygiene routines, dental decay in other family members, medical history and fluoride use.

On Monday 24th June, and Tuesday 25th June, the Children’s Dental Health Coordinators from SpaDental Plymouth, Heather Cresswell and Lorraine Allen are working with SpaDental Chard. Practice manager Paula Thompson and dental nurse Gemma King will be taking up the baton to educate children in South Somerset about oral health.

Long-term planning

NHS childrens' dentist on a school visit teaches toothbrushing

Toothbrushing with a timer for two minutes.

Skilled NHS clinicians can help children to have a good tooth-brushing routine at home, identify teeth at risk and come up with a plan to protect them, as well as checking teeth are developing as they should.

Four SpaDental practices are able to register children as new NHS patients. All a patient or guardian needs to do is get in touch with the practice.

Our team would love to visit schools in and around Chard.

We invite schools to get in touch with the practice to book an educational visit from our team.

POSTED IN: Chard, Children, Plymouth


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