Unless your dental office caters specifically to adults, you need to design your office so it appeals to both young patients and parents. Achieving the balance between what parents and children want can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. Below are five ways to design your dental office to put a smile on everyone’s face.
Waiting Room Renovation
If you want to make your dentist office more kid-friendly, the waiting room is the perfect place to start. Add a safe play area where kids can color, build and read while waiting for their turn in the dentist chair. For older children, you can even consider adding a game system in the office. Time will fly by as your patients will be focused on the game. Most importantly, make sure parents are able to see their children from any chair in the waiting room.
Make Time Fly
Even the most virtuous of parents know that TV is useful in certain situations. Sometimes, it seems like nothing calms an inconsolable youngster like their favorite television program. Install monitors in both the waiting room and treatment areas to distract children while you examine their teeth. In addition, keep the conversation flowing by talking about their favorite things: foods, games and television shows. Being in touch with the latest trends in games and TV shows will go a long way towards building trust.
A Treasure Chest
Who doesn’t like getting a reward for a job well done? Give your patients something to look forward by having a treasure chest full of prizes. Most children respond well knowing that they will get a special prize if they cooperate with their dental cleaning. Fill it with age-appropriate goodies like action figures, keychains and other non-toxic toys. You might look into other Charleston dentistry offices to get ideas for prizes for your patients.
Comfort and Soothe
Before and during their appointments, refrain from using words like “painful,” “injection,” or even “needle.” Maintain a positive and friendly tone when speaking with children about their procedures. Use positive phrases to make the visit seem fun rather than scary and stressful.
For younger patients, going to the dentist means being away from their parents, favorite stuffed animal or other items of comfort. This typically leads to tears and a very unsuccessful visit to the dentist. And while it’s perfectly normal for young children to wiggle, squirm and whine, you can avoid this sticky situation by allowing parents to accompany their child in the room. If you feel it’s better for parents to wait outside, allowing children to bring their favorite plushy or blanket can help soothe their jangled nerves while in the dentist chair.
Ease worried minds by allowing them to examine you. Since fear usually stems from the unknown, allowing younger patients to examine you or even a mock dental mouth will reduce anxiety, allowing you examine them in a more relaxed manner. Let patients handle dental instruments that are safe to touch. Demonstrate how you will count their teeth and ask them to count with you. This is a great way to bond with your little patient.
Teaching children that their dentist only wants the best for them starts at home. Encourage parents to talk to their little ones about the dentist in an upbeat, positive manner before and after their appointments. Talk to the child directly to teach them in a positive manner the importance of keeping your mouth clean.