A trip to the dentist can be nerve-wracking for anybody but for many autistic children the experience is completely overwhelming. To help address the problem a team of volunteer dental professionals has teamed up with the dental charity Dentaid to give autistic children and their families the chance to become familiar with dental surgery in a relaxed setting.
Dentaid’s mobile dental unit will come to Sensory World in Dewsbury on Saturday, December 16. Autistic children will be able to meet the friendly dental team, experience sitting in the chair and explore the mobile dental unit. Volunteers will be offering toothbrushing lessons and oral health advice, handing out toothbrushes and paste and offering to protect youngsters’ teeth with fluoride varnish. Afterwards the children will be able to stay and play at Sensory World.
“This is a lovely opportunity to acclimatise autistic children to a dental clinic,” said Sue Baker who devised the project. “Like going to the hairdressers, a visit to the dentist and being asked to sit still can become a distressing experience for an autistic child but it is vital they attend regular dental appointments. We hope that by giving them this opportunity in this relaxed environment it will be easier next time they visit a dental practice.”
Dentaid’s mobile dental unit is returning to Kirklees after a series of successful clinics held in the autumn where 304 people received free dental advice and treatment. The unit will also be at The Greenwood Centre in Ravensthorpe on Thursday 14th from 2pm – 6pm and Thornhill Lees Community Centre on Friday 15th from 2pm -7pm, offering free dental treatment for vulnerable people and those who can’t access NHS dental care.
“The mobile dental unit is there to provide services for people who find it difficult to access treatment and we are delighted to welcome the children and their parents on board,” said Dentaid CEO Andy Evans. “We hope they find it an enjoyable experience and we can provide reassurance and support to their parents and carers.”
The mobile dental unit will be at Sensory World, Old Westgate, Dewsbury from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, December 16. The dental sessions are free and stay and play sessions are £5. No booking is required.