Pediatric dental patients at Eastmont Wellness now leave their appointments with more than just a sparkling smile. They take home a new friend: one of 400 teddy bears donated to Eastmont’s Dental Clinic earlier this year.
The Dental Clinic staff has fully incorporated the high-end plush toys into their pediatric services, giving children the bears to help them brave their dental visits. Parents of Eastmont’s youngest dental patients are also offered the bears as an alternative for children using bottles as a sleep aid, which can cause tooth decay.
Moreover, the teddy bears have become an important tool for facilitating conversations with pediatric patients.
“The conversations with our patients about their new plush toys have been a remarkable way to get their attention and keep them engaged during their visit,” said Dr. Pamela Alston, Dental Director at Eastmont.
With critical brain growth occurring in the first few years of life, the Dental Clinic is committed to talking and reading to pediatric patients to help form neuron connections. The new toys have played an integral role in these activities.
And the teddy bears have benefited not only patients but staff as well. “Giving the plush toys away has become a wonderful team building activity,” said Dr. Alston.
Sporting matching teddy bear scrub tops on special giveaway days, the Dental Clinic team looks forward to sharing heartwarming stories of the reactions they receive when distributing the toys.
The teddy bears, an in-kind donation from a generous individual given via the Foundation, are brightening smiles—and futures—for children in our community.