How to Determine If a Dental Office Is Kid-Friendly
Not everybody likes to visit the dentist. Kids are more affected by this than adults but even still, some adults are petrified of the dental chair. Kids naturally fear dentists. They feel nervous when they imagine their teeth being pulled out and cleaned. It is essential to create an atmosphere within a dental office to make a kid feel a bit at ease. It should be appealing to young patients. Therefore as a parent, you should look for a kid-friendly hospital for your kid.
Here are things that you should look for:
Presence of Friendly Staff
When introducing themselves, they should introduce themselves to you first. After that, they can go on and introduce themselves to your child. This will help in building trust with the child.
A young patient will feel more comfortable to engage with a person who has previously engaged with his or her parents. A Noble Smiles Dentistry staff, for instance, will use his or her names to introduce themselves rather than titles. That way, kids will trust them more easily.
Friendly Waiting Area
A pleasant waiting area should not only have kid magazines and books. Waiting areas can appear to be dull and overwhelming to most kids, especially if they are forced to wait with the presence of many adult strangers.
As a parent, you should look for a hospital that has a part of the waiting area dedicated to kids. It should at least have a box of toys, kids-furniture, and books. It should at least have different colors from the adult waiting area. There should also be a few kid-friendly posters.
Presence of Kid-Specific Treatment Rooms
A typical treatment room can look frightening to a kid, especially if they are visiting a dentist for the first time and are asked to lie down on what to them may seem like a gigantic scary chair equipped with all types of dental equipment. This will most likely make them scared.
As a parent, you should look for a hospital that has few treatment rooms specifically for young patients. Walls should have a painting that does not make the room feel sterile. Accompany your kid to the treatment room. Therefore, ensure that there is enough space to accommodate you without it feeling cramped. Your presence will help your child feel he/she is not alone, making them feel less nervous.
A Doctor Who Ask Questions
A doctor needs to ask questions about the young patient. He or she should enquire about the kid’s school, interests, among others. Asking questions will help a doctor create a good rapport with the kid.
Choose a hospital where a doctor asks about your kid. There are two approaches to this. You can tell the doctor in advance, or the doctor can ask the young patient. A child can trust a doctor quickly if he or she asks them what they like. It is always advisable, as a parent, to inform the doctor one or two things about your child.
When choosing a dental hospital for your kid, look for the above things. Choose a hospital that is kid-friendly to ensure that your kid feels less nervous. That way, your kid will not be scared of going for dental appointments.
Make your child’s first appointment
Your child should first see the dentist either when their first tooth appears or by the time they turn one. This visit is meant mostly to talk with parents and help your child get accustomed to the dentist’s chair.
Determine when your child must return for their next visit
Ask your the dentist about when the next appointment should be. Generally, if your child has transitioned from sucking on a bottle to using a cup and does not eat at night, you can wait another full year before returning.
Make appointments every six months
By the age of two, you should start taking your child to the dentist every six months. Frequent visits to the dentist at an early age helps children get accustomed to the procedure and helps combat any oral problems that may develop.
Make appointments early in the day
Try to schedule an appointment earlier in the day when your child is more alert. This is especially true for younger children and toddlers who might be cranky in the late afternoon.
Avoid going to your dentist
Unless your dentist works with children, you should find a child friendly dentist’s office. Pediatric dentists go through two or three years of extra training in order to work with children. They understand physical and psychological development, and are especially prepared to work with kids.
Ask your friends and family
Talk to your friends or family members who also have children. They may be able to recommend a good pediatric dentist in your area.
Evaluate the office
Once you make an appointment with a new dentist, take time to reflect on the experience. Were you treated well? Did the dentist explain the tools and procedures to your child? Was the office decorated in a way that is inviting to children? Was the dentist patient and kind?
Talk to the dentist
When you make the appointment, ask the dentist about what your child will experience during the visit. Make sure you understand what kinds of tools and procedures they will use. That way, you will have an easier time answering your child’s questions before the day comes.
Prepare them with an explanation
Let your child know when you will be going to the dentist. Explain what will happen during the appointment in a calm manner. Build excitement about the trip to ease any anxieties they might have.
Introduce your child to the dentist
Formally introduce your child, and allow the dentist to take over. Before getting started, they will probably explain how all the tools work to make your child feel comfortable.
Help your child a pick a prize
Sometimes children are given prizes during the visit to calm their anxieties. Other times, the prize is awarded at the end. Create excitement around picking a prize to encourage positive feelings in the dentist’s office.
Reschedule if necessary
If your child is especially uncomfortable or uncooperative, you may have to reschedule the visit. This is more common with young children who are not yet accustomed to sitting in the dentist’s chair. It is okay to give it another try in a couple of months.