Smiling for Dental Health
Dr Roze & Associates’ Animal-Assisted Therapy
UAE statistics report that 62.5% of 5 to 7-year-olds require treatment for cavities and 80% of children in the 12 to 15-year old age group have unhealthy gums. Dubai-based dental health centre Dr Roze & Associates has opened new surgical suites to treat children, but it is the way they are doing it which has caught our attention.
The Smiling Buddies Programme is a typical dental health education syllabus, except for the fact that it works with the animals at Sense, an animal-assisted therapy company, to help install a positive message regarding the basic steps required to maintain excellent oral health for life. The programme caters to children of all learning abilities ages 2 to 12.
Mother, Baby & Child interviews Practice Founder Dr Roze & Associates for a look into the Smiling Buddies Programme.
What is the most important tip you can give parents when it comes to their children’s health?
A child’s oral health is directly linked to their overall well-being. Good brushing habits and a healthy diet are essential in order for any child to be able to enjoy a lifetime with healthy teeth. It all starts with the parents and instilling good oral hygiene habits from as early as when the child cuts their first teeth.
Tell us about Chubby. How helpful has she been?
Chubby is an essential element in our Smiling Buddies Programme me, which is our proprietary dental health education syllabus that we take to children of all learning abilities, aged from two to 12 years. The programme me helps instill a positive message regarding the basic steps required to maintain excellent oral health for life.
We work with Chubby (who is a dog, not a person!) and the animal assisted therapy team at Sense to help drive the message of good dental habits home in an interactive and easy to understand way.
Chubby communicates through body language, making it easier for children to pick up signs and remember what they have been taught. She is placid, well trained and very interactive, so she is a fantastic member of our team and great fun to be with, for both the kids and us!
How did the idea come about, to bring Chubby on board.
One of our hygienists, Victoria Wilson, met the Sense team at a family day event. This dedicated group of Dubai based individuals specialise in therapy for children by using animals for teaching and communication.
Victoria had the idea that it by bringing an animal on board, we would capture the attention of children more easily and engage more positively, as well as adding a fun element to any dental health presentation.
Animals facilitate learning in a fun and interesting way as they communicate through body language. This makes it easier for children to pick up signs and remember what they have been taught.
We saw the synergies that this would have with what we aspire to do and thought that by bringing Chubby on board we would be able to deliver a uniquely inspirational dental health programme me that would greatly contribute towards improving the oral health of children across the UAE.