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Meeting with Oral Health Nurse

We had a very useful meeting with Angela Hopwood from Oral Health about how the Oral Health Team are trying to accommodate children with additional support needs so they are able to attend the dentist.

Meeting with Angela Hopwood – Oral Health – 5/2/19

Angela suggested that parents use the “Getting to know you” form. This will update the child’s records so that the clinician can read about the child’s needs prior to the visit. If the child has a passport this can also be added to the record.

Angela was keen to stress that no visit is ever a waste of their time even if the child does not come away with the treatment needed, they are quite happy to do what the child can manage. They are keen to make a familiar and safe environment.

Things to help you get your child to the dentist

  • Acclimatisation visits with parents or support workers from schools. They are keen to build up relationships with children so the child can put a face to the visit.
  • The oral health team can go into schools and meet children there if that is easier.
  • They have role play boxes that can be used within their office or lent out.
  • If you call in (by arrangement) they can spend time with the child colouring in pictures to get them used to being in the environment.
  • They have social stories available that can be tailored to the individual child and the treatment they may be requiring.
  • They have a multi sensory CD that has all the noises on that you are likely to hear in the dentist so that you can get used to it.

To make appointments easier

  • They can ensure radio is switched off, make sure they don’t make appointments when fire alarms are scheduled going to be tested.
  • You can wait in the car until the appointment
  • Send the paperwork beforehand so this does not need to be done during the appointment
  • They are trying to ensure that there can be more flexibility with appointment times and understand that first appointments would be valuable for this client group

Suggestion to help children with cleaning their teeth

  • Flavourless / non foaming toothpaste – you can get this from the dentist but we have some tubes of this in the office if anyone wants to try this
  • Use apps for example Brush DJ or Aquafresh brushtime
  • Reward charts
  • Timers - anything that can help

How often do you need an appointment?

Angela advised that people don’t need to be seen every 6 months but they do like to see children once per year if possible. They will try and put people on a recall system but for 18+ the onus is on the individual to make contact.

Other information

  • In schools - trying to use peer support
  • It’s fine to cancel appointments – it is better if you can let them know.
  • They are keen to get carers marked so that they can get whole families seen at the same time to try and make this easier.
  • There are currently 2 specialist dentists
  • Currently trying to track children who have moved in the last few years in to adult services to make sure that they can keep track on this vulnerable group
  • There are plans in place for greater training with receptionists

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