A new story box from Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is making a trip to the dentist less scary for children and vulnerable adults in Wiltshire.
Filled with props and pictures, the multi-sensory story is a touchy feely way for people with learning difficulties to become familiar with the various sights and sounds associated with going for a check-up.
The box contains everything from toothbrushes, dental masks, latex gloves and safety glasses as well as a story for parents and carers to read aloud which describes every aspect of a visit to the dentist.
It is hoped that the materials in the box will help to reduce the stress and anxiety that some children and adults experience prior to attending their appointment.
Sue Bevan-Jones, Senior Oral Health Promoter at Chippenham Community Hospital, said: “There’s been a great response from children, as well as their parents and carers, to our new story box and we’re so pleased it’s been able to make such a difference to so many families.
“The story box covers everything a child would see or hear during a standard dental appointment so we hope that by the time they’re in the chair, they won’t have had too many surprises.
“There’s even a wind-up torch which makes a great sound and represents the light that dentists shine in patients’ mouths.
“Being able to regularly visit a dentist, especially as a child, is incredibly important as it’s often difficult to undo damage caused early on in later life.”
Many children and adults with autism struggle to recognise more than one image on a page which is why the story box contains separate picture cards of dentists, nurses and the equipment used in the surgery.
A set of golden rules, which explains how to maintain good oral hygiene, is also included and can be easily photocopied for future reference.
Dental story boxes can be loaned to parents and carers free of charge from libraries across Wiltshire.
For more information, please call Sue Bevan-Jones on 01793 456606 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.