Dental care for children a positive experience
Children are not immune to oral health problems. That’s why Cherry Trees Dental encourage you to bring your child to visit the dentist at an early age, before any problems arise, so their first experience at the dentist is a positive one. Principal Dentist Debbie Ganguli is passionate about dental education, Preventative Dentistry, and access to proper Professional Dental Care for children of all ages. Cherry Trees Dental has won awards for it’s school children and youth dental education programme.
Why Children Need Dental care
Dental caries is the most chronic disease among children aged 5 – 17. In fact, tooth decay or cavities in children are seven times more common than asthma and hay fever. Dental health problems in infants are no less serious. Children are dependant on their parents for their health and well-being, including their dental health. They should be shown how to floss and brush their teeth.
While children can be nervous about coming to see the dentist the first time, we encourage parents to ensure your child has access to a dentist from an early age. Sedation can be provided if necessary, but we find that not every patient needs this, as there are various ways we can manage anxiety without sedation.
The need for Children's dental education
The concept of providing dental education in a classroom setting began for Cherry Trees Principal Dentist Dr Debbie Ganguli, during her time as Senior Dental Officer working in paediatric and special needs care for Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes Primary Care Trust.
Debbie was repeatedly disappointed if not heartbroken to find herself treating so many young children for dental caries, often through removal of teeth. Many of the children were under the age of five and there were many repeat attendees to the GA sessions.
When Debbie’s daughter began primary school, with support from High Ash School’s head teacher, Debbie was given the opportunity to develop an education program, tailored to each of 3 key school stages, for 300 or so children during National Smile Month 2010.
At the same time Debbie approached Little Ashes Pre School, and two primary schools: Linslade Lower School and Greenleas School both within walking distance from Cherry Trees Dental practice. All four were signed up to a pilot study of the education for schools.
Cherry Trees Schools Dental Programme
Both history and science are good platforms to work from for Key Stage One (Ages 5-7 Years One and Two) and Key Stage Two (Ages 8-11 Years Three, Four, Five and Six). Our presentations are developed linking in with existing areas of the curriculum with the hope to engage the children, and using metacognitive learning models: Learning, watching, thinking (participating) and doing. This last area has been achieved through the provision of worksheets for use in the classroom later to consolidate the teaching.
The Early Years Dental Programme
- Interactive: One of the team will present children with a shopping bag and choose which foods are ‘safe’ for teeth and which are not.
- Education: Encourage children to drink milk and eat cheese but also discourage foods that may be ‘tooth friendly’ but high in salt or saturated fat e.g. crisps.
- Play Pack: Children can set up their own dental practice! An additional resource that has been met with great enthusiasm by the teachers.
How Our Children's Dentistry has evolved
As well as local schools, we are now working with a number of scouting groups and guiding groups in the evenings and have added a hands on ‘Egg-speriment’ to the program.
This not only shows the effect of acids on teeth and the protection of fluoride, but goes towards the children attaining their health care scouting and brownie/guide badges, which was featured in the Leighton Buzzard Observer.
The Cherry Trees Dental Education for Schools Program is not a profit making project, and all sessions are free of charge taking place during normal working hours and occasionally in evenings.
We don’t expect anything in return from schools, nor the children and their families, but we do ask wherever possible that a small donation is made to Bridge2Aid, fighting the causes of poverty in some of the poorest communities in the developing world.
Award-Winning School Dental Education Project
The Cherry Trees Dental, School’s Dental Education Programme project has attracted national attention and accolades having won the 2013 ‘Best Community Project’ at the Private Dentistry Awards in London and the ‘Best Children’s Dental Health Initiative’ award in 2014. If you would like to find out more, please call us!