Dentists from Scotland’s largest dental group have volunteered many hours of their own time to provide fluoride varnish clinics for children in some of the country’s most deprived areas.
22 dentists and nurses from Clyde Munro Dental Group are offering children aged 0-12 the opportunity to have free fluoride varnish application treatments; vital for early tooth decay prevention.
The Glasgow-based group has opened four clinics at present in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and the Scottish Borders - with the ambition to open more around the country.
Each appointment lasts 10 minutes or more, and recipients of the treatment do not need to register with Clyde Munro. Children will also receive a gift bag containing a toothbrush and toothpaste, as well as an assortment of information packs.
It comes after the Health Board has currently put their application treatments on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Craig Neil, associate dentist of Clyde Dental Shettleston, said, “This is a great opportunity for parents to receive advice on how best to safeguard the teeth of their children.
“Not only are we offering free fluoride varnish treatments, but we also go through brushing instructions and dietary recommendations. We have already seen a great amount of interest for these clinics, and we hope this demand will continue.”
Mary Smith, senior clinical support at Clyde Munro, said, “The last 16 months have been extremely disruptive for the dental industry. It has been well documented that the closure of dental practices during the Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with a poor diet, has had a profound effect on the oral health of children around Scotland.
“There has been a massive shortfall of dental treatments during the pandemic, with children in the country’s most vulnerable areas being the most affected by our sector's closure. With that in mind, we are focused on improving dental care for those 12 and under.
“Our fluoride varnish is a strong tooth decay preventer which is highly effective, making sure the children who receive the application are better protected from decay and other oral deficiencies.”
Appointments for the fluoride varnish application clinics are made on a first come first serve basis by contacting the individual practices.
The clinics are part of the dental group’s wider initiative, Clyde Munro Cares. Throughout the last 15 months, Clyde Munro has also been offering virtual information sessions with children and their parents.
Clyde Munro’s virtual sessions are centred on oral health for children aged 0-12. Each session is a 15-20 minute presentation on hints and tips as well as a Q&A on the benefits of brushing teeth.
Erin Wight, senior project coordinator at Clyde Munro, said, “We are aiming to deliver significant improvements to Scotland’s oral health, and we have been working together with health boards and support services to access children who need the treatment.
“Our dentists and nurses are offering these sessions out of their own time, and we are grateful for all those who are volunteering. We are aiming to fill in the gap of the massive shortfall in dental services due to the pandemic by ensuring children and their families are getting the advice and help they need.”
Clyde Munro now comprises 51 practices across Scotland. The 400 strong staff now support more than 430,000 patients.