In something of a throw back to the 1950s and 1960s, Sacriston Dental Health Centre has linked up with a local primary school in Sacriston village near Chester le Street, Durham. During those previous decades dentists regularly attended primary schools to check pupils’ teeth and advise staff of any potential problems. Over the years, this visitation, along with those of the school nurse and ‘nitty Nora’ has been abolished.
Pupils from the school aged 6 and 7 were invited to visit the clinic to see what goes on. They were also taught a valuable lesson about the dangers of eating too much sugary food and not brushing their teeth and gums correctly. The children were all encouraged to clean their teeth twice a day.
Speaking with local reporters, Kirstin Farquar who works at the clinic said: “I would like to encourage parents to bring their children to the dentist as soon as possible to get them used with the surroundings, the smell and the noises associated with dentistry so that when they do get into the chair themselves they feel relaxed and comfortable.
Dr. Farquar added: “By bringing local school children into the practice it helps us to get the messages across in a fun way about how important it is that they look after their teeth and how best they do that.”
With many dentists having left the NHS, it is quite possible that parents no longer visit their dentist as regularly as they would have. If this is the case, it is also likely to have a knock on effect upon their children. However, children under 20 are legally allowed free dentistry services, something not all parents may be aware of.