Learning not to be afraid of the dentist is an important step for children.

So some will be having the most unexpected half term treat they have ever experienced next Wednesday - when Starting Well dentist practices across Slough hold an open day to encourage parents of young children to get them used to the idea that they need not be scary places.

Slough currently has the highest tooth decay rate in the South East and is one of 13 towns that have been identified nationally under the Starting Well: A Smile4Life Initiative, where tooth decay in under fives is at a particularly high level.

The council’s public health team and dentists have also been working very closely with local schools, to help with oral health education and facilitate supervised brushing.

Parents and small children are invited to come along to one of the following dentist surgeries on Wednesday - just call ahead. They are Farnham Road Dental Practice – call 01753 537634 to book a visit between 9am and 5pm (not 1pm to 2pm), Abbey Dental Surgery in Sheffield Road - call 01753 536601 to book a visit between 9am and 4pm, Smile High Street – call 01753 523410 to book between 9am and 5pm, Smile Cippenham Dental Practice in Bath Road – call 01753 577017 to book between 9am and 5pm or Langley Dental Care at 276 Langley High Street – call 01753 543742 to book from 9am to 6pm.

Cllr Natasa Pantelic, cabinet member for health and wellbeing on Slough Borough Council, said: “All are welcome to come along to any of the five local dental practices taking part on 30 October with your under fives. You can book an appointment or just drop in and meet the dentist. The work we have been doing with the Starting Well dental practices has improved dentist attendance for young children in Slough, and our open days are always well attended. Good oral health is so important from an early age and we are passionate about the healthy smiles campaign, and promoting tooth brushing twice a day and regular dentist check-ups.”