February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. This ADA initiative aims to bring dental professionals together to promote the benefits of good oral health to children and their caregivers.
Since this month is focused on the little ones, we’ve put together a couple of ideas to help you make sure even your youngest patients are comfortable at your dental practice.
The Waiting Area
Adding a couple of simple elements to your waiting area can help ease a child’s nervousness by keeping them busy. Some children’s magazines and books along with some coloring and activity pages are a great way to keep little hands and minds occupied while they wait for their appointment.
A fun mirror, chalkboard, or activity table is perfect for distracting younger patients. Activity tables are available in hundreds of styles, making it easy to find one that matches the style of your waiting room.
Comfy Means Calmer
One of the simplest ways to make your smaller patients more comfortable is to provide seating that is just their size.
In your treatment rooms, consider using a booster seat and kiddie headrest to help to raise children up in your dental chair and reduce back and neck strain for your team. For children, adult-sized dental chairs can be intimidating, and this makes it comfier for the kids and easier for you to take x-rays and perform dental work.
A Goody Bag
Kids often find it easier to get through a stressful experience if there’s something tangible to look forward to at the end. Providing a goody bag or prize box to choose from is a useful distraction strategy. If they’re feeling wriggly and anxious, you can always remind them about the prize they’ll receive as soon as their appointment is done.
Good oral hygiene habits start in childhood, so it’s important to help kids look forward to their dental appointments. Taking simple steps like including distraction books and toys and providing child-appropriate seating will help your appointments with younger patients go smoothly.