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Coach House Dental Practice, Coldwell Street, Matlock, DE4 4FB

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How Peppa Pig helped me to become a better dentist

- 04-November-2019 -

With it being half term this week, we have seen many young patients. Some were making their first visits, and others are more experienced. I remember when my daughter came to see me – made the schoolboy error of having my mask daggling around my neck. Let’s say reception heard her crying. Valuable lesson learnt. I know always make an effort to go collect my young patients from reception and never wear a mask. Over the years, I have noticed parents use all sorts of words and phrases “this won’t hurt”, “its not painful”, “don’t be scared” etc. It is best to avoid these phrases. I found my daughter to be more relaxed on her second visit because of Peppa Pig. A simple cartoon can make such an impact. I was never a big fan, but now Peppa and George are almost like family. (I would avoid Ben and Holly)

One of the important roles I have is to give dietary advice to parents, especially with an increase in dental caries in children. Parents who go shopping with their children try their best to avoid the confectionery and biscuit aisles. If you manage that, the supermarket then stacks everything by the counter. The child starts to play up and to prevent a scene at the till the parents give in. The child gets the Kinder Egg, and the parents keep smiling and pay for the shopping. We have all been there.

It’s difficult to encourage children to eat healthily. My wife and I have found that if we encourage our daughter to help in the preparation, she is more likely to eat healthy snacks.  

Below are a few tips from my personal experience:

  1. Snacks high in sugar are given as a reward – confined to one biscuit
  2. Healthy snacks which we found work are cucumber sticks, carrot sticks, blueberries and strawberries. Cut these into small bite-size pieces.
  3. Drink as much water as possible and pasteurised milk. If we do give cordial, then it is diluted to 10:1 ratio (10 lots of water to one drop of cordial)

I usually find children are good with their brushing. As one of the parents asked me this week “how do I get my two year old to brush” there are no secrets. We started using the one below which worked till about the age of two, and then we had to move over to the Disney themed brushes. One item which can help children brush better from about six years upwards would be disclosing tablets.

It’s difficult being a parent and every day is a school day, there is no perfect way. I would love to hear about your tips and tricks. 

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