Open Wide! Smiles galore at dentist
DENTISTS and clowns are both feared by many, but one Tweed dental clinic is turning both stereotypes on their head to help kids embrace healthy teeth.
Dentists and administration staff at Tweed District Dental on Minjungbal Dr donned colourful costumes as part of their fun approach to oral health last week, the second such fancy dress day the clinic has staged.
The sometimes expected grim-faced terror of the dentist's waiting room was replaced with big smiles and laughter, as a Mad Hatter probed in a young patient's mouth.
The young patients are also encouraged to come in costume.
Tweed parents Bronwyn and David Wicks have been taking their kids to the clinic for several months and say they are amazed at how the novel approach has removed their kids' fears about getting in the dental chair.
"It's fun for the kids," Mrs Wicks said.
Her sons, including eight-year-old Jesse, enjoy getting involved with the clinic's fancy dress days.
Dental nurse Ally Grabham said getting in early to dispel kids' fears of the dentist was crucial to oral health down the track.
"We make it really fun for the kids," Ms Grabham said.
"Often we get them fighting over who's going to go first."
Dr Chris Jackson said the dress-up day was part of the clinic's hugely successful Junior Jaws program, which used the preventative Myobrace orthodontic treatment.
He said the treatment, which realigns teeth before braces are needed, had been a positive treatment for children, who only needed to wear it for one hour a day, and overnight.
"Everyone who comes in has a big grin on their face," Dr Jackson said.
"It's very rewarding for us.
"We have lots to smile about!"