As a dental assistant at Children’s Smile Center in Ozark, Mo., Brooke Neill knows that her most powerful tool for improving patients’ oral health is not a prophy angle or scaler – it’s education.
Brooke begins each appointment by getting to know the child and asking them questions about their brushing, flossing and eating habits. Once she has insight into their current routine, she offers tips and techniques to help them improve their oral health.
But it’s not just the patients who need to be educated about the importance of good oral health. Brooke has found that many of her patient’s caregivers are unaware of the impact that unhealthy eating and brushing habits can have on their child’s overall well-being. She spends time discussing with parents the benefits of brushing, flossing, regular dental exams and a nutritious diet. By educating both the child and the caregiver, she is setting her patients up for a lifetime of good oral health.
Another important part of Brooke’s role at Children’s Smile Center is supporting children who have anxiety or fear about going to the dentist. By talking them through every step of the exam and assuring them that it won’t be scary or painful, she helps make their experience a positive one. And when she gets a smile, hug or a high five at the end of an appointment, Brooke knows that she’s truly made a difference.