I have worked in general practice as a dental nurse and receptionist for 25 years. I moved to Reece Associates three years ago when I was coaxed by the manageress (I had worked with her previously) to join her new innovative dental practice. She told me it was time for a change as I had been working within my comfort zone for far too long! It was the best career move I made.
I have since trained and qualified as a dental health educator which has enabled me to join the team at Smilescool. I have never come across any practice with a principal who is as forward thinking as Mike Reece. The Smilescool concept was developed by Mike and Sara Reece, utilising both Mike’s dental and Sara’s nursery knowledge. Smilescool is described as ‘a revolutionary, exciting and holistic way to provide dental care, treatment and education to birth until they reach the age of eleven’.
As one of the Smilescool leaders I get to have a lovely varied work day, no two days seem to be the same, which is great! We work within a purpose built children’s room which we set up depending on the age of the children attending. The children come in two-to-three times a year for 1-1½ hours depending on their age band. Up until the age group of three-to-four-year olds, we have the parents in the session with us.
The idea is the children get used to the noise and smells within the environment while having fun with the leaders and one of the other leader’s talks to the parents. It’s wonderful when the children are old enough to stay on their own but come into the sessions confidently as they are used to the environment and the Smilescool leaders. In fact it’s usually the parents that are unsure about leaving the children… I think they are worried about what they may be missing out on, but we do get a sense of satisfaction when the children quite happily skip off and leave them!
Feedback from parents generally is that the children go home and correct their parents’ bad habits to do with oral hygiene and dietary habits. The children quite often ask for some of the fun activities they have done to be repeated but we do persuade them to try the new activities we do in each session. Overall the Smilescool is a great dental experience for children, parents and the staff that work in it.
For more details about affiliation to Smilescool, visit www.smilescool.co.uk