Thursday, 6 October 2011

Dental Stuff for Kids Part 1

I am a mum, and I am also a dentist- and I wasn't to know 16 years ago when I was applying for university courses, but it is actually a great career for a mum.
It has very flexible hours (especially if you have an understanding boss who is also a mum like mine) and you hardly ever have to work weekends or bring work home. And of course the pays not too bad if you're busy, although thanks to Kevin Milne  we might be experiencing a run of bad debts.

That rant  can be left to the serious dental bloggers, but my short response is this- it cost me nearly $100K to train, and running a dental practice with the latest technology and techniques that people should expect from a modern dentist is not cheap. Nobody goes to the supermarket, fills their trolley and forces a "flexible response" from the checkout! The practice where I work has flexible payment options that we are happy to discuss with people up front if they ask first!

Gone are the days where getting dentures for your 21st birthday was normal. We can offer amazing technology and techniques to our patients- I personally spend thousands a year on travelling to training courses and conferences to keep up to date with research and technology so I can offer it to my patients.

Which brings me to the reason for this blog, and I would prefer it to be helpful rather than ranty.....childrens dental health. I have realised during the course of this post that I could probably write a book on this topic so I will break it up into segments so you don't have to read a novel.

Here in New Zealand we are lucky to have the government funded school dental service which provides dental care to children from the time they first get teeth till the time they go to high school. Once they go to high school they can be seen by a dentist and its also government funded.
Despite Plunket doing their best to get the message out there, lots of parents aren't aware that their children can be registered with a school dental nurse from 6 months. If you wait till they get to school it can be too late, as the baby teeth will have been through for long enough to get decay.

However- the school dental service has its limitations. They are an extremely valuable part of dental care in NZ, but due to their high work load, they don't always get to see every child every year. If your school has a mobile dental service and your child happens to be off sick the day the van is in town, you miss out.

They also may not have as much time as they would like to spend talking to parents about good home care and diet advice. So unfortunately lots of kids in NZ still aren't getting regular dental checkups and advice.

Most dentists will see your children for a small fee for a second opinion or peace of mind- I am always happy to do so, and often we can tag a quick childs checkup onto the end of their parents visit.

So- if your children aren't enrolled with your local school dental service, ring them up today before they all break up for the holidays! If you have no luck there, phone around your area for a dentist who is happy to see children. Regular checkups are one of the BEST ways to ensure your children have healthy teeth for life. Healthy teeth for life means you won't ever have to take Kevin Milnes advice....

Miss R baking her "birthday cake".
The aftermath..
Stay tuned for parts 2/3/4......

1 comment:

  1. Dental Health Care is one of the best prevention programs to ensure fresh breath, healthy mouth and teeth for life. Dental diseases are not considered to be fatal. Hence very often people neglect the importance of oral hygiene. Nevertheless, the cost of dental disease in pain, suffering, treatment and loss of work is huge. Teeth are meant to last a lifetime. By taking good care of your teeth and gums, you can protect them for many years to come.

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