A class visit to the dentist is not only an excellent way to engage children with positive oral health messages, but it is also an ideal opportunity to make them feel more comfortable with the sights and sounds of a dental practice, and ease any anxiety they may have about a trip to the dentist.
About 98 Year II children, accompanied by teachers and parents, visited a local dental practice as part of their PSHE lesson – the visit was staggered over four days. After being introduced to the friendly dentists and their team of nurses and hygienists, the children were divided into three groups and rotated between, ‘clinical areas’ and ‘a sterilization room’. In the clinical areas the children were shown a variety of dental equipment, including the dentist’s chair! They learned about the basic essentials of keeping their teeth clean, how to brush and floss, as well as what foods to eat after a meal to help keep their teeth healthy. The children were most interested in seeing the dental X-rays on display! The sterilization room, equipped with modern cleaning and sterile packing devices and an autoclave machine, was a source of great fascination for the children. At the end of the visit, each child was presented with a dental goodie bag, containing a hygiene kit, some fun stickers and an information booklet to consolidate their learning.
The visit was a great educational experience, with the children learning the importance of not only keeping their teeth clean and healthy but how visiting the dentist can be comfortable and stress-free, and why oral health is an important part of a person’s overall health.