What’s the secret to kids’ dentistry?
Well, there are a number of ways you could reply to this. We’ve kicked it around in the break room sometimes. But most of our staff would agree that aside from the clinical part of kids’ dentistry, in terms of patient approach, it’s fairly simple.
Kids are young and small. Many of them are going to the dentist for the first time. So how you act in front of them, and to them, sets the stage for their dental health for the rest of their lives.
So just be nice. It’s that simple. Kids need patient and gentle dental care, so that they associate the dentist with good things, not fear anxiety and painful intrusion into their mouths.
Letting Parents Into the Back
Why would you not let parents into the dental area with the child?
We understand quite well the traditional promotion of independence in young children. That’s to be expected. But in most cases, the dental office is not the place for that.
Some parents don’t think very hard about the child’s psychology, and some dental offices don’t either. They kind of feel like you can use this tough love approach to get kids ready for the world. But again, in our minds, the dental office is not the place for that. Try it out at a more mundane place like a supermarket or maybe a nice peaceful forest.
In the dentist’s chair, kids are seeking all of the reassurance and compassion that they can get. And make no mistake – we are here to provide that!
Masks and Smiles
Don’t ever let someone tell you you can’t see someone’s smile behind their mask.
Through regular years and through covert pandemic aftermath, our people know the power of a cheerful dental provider.
There are many ways to say this, but you could say it like this – dentistry is inherently challenging for many patients, especially young patients. They just want someone to be positive and caring while they’re exploring their mouth with pointy equipment. They want the hygienist and the other staff to understand that bitewing x-rays can be hard to fit into your mouth.
The list of ways to have a good bedside manner in dentistry goes on and on. Why would you not treat these younger patients with the utmost care? Why would you go into pediatric dentistry if you didn’t want to brighten the smiles of these young folks by reassuring them that there’s nothing to be scared of at the dentist’s office?
All of that other stuff is good, too. For instance, we offer CareCredit financing and other accommodations for families, based on how hard it can be to budget for dental expenses. But at the heart of this is what we often say to each other – if you don’t set the table for a child to have a positive experience of the dentist, he or she will probably avoid the dentist for years after they’ve grown up – and that leads to all sorts of avoidable bad outcomes that we see, that any dentist sees, in the course of his or her career. Let’s skip all that by being positive and gentle and fostering the best results for our patients. In some ways, it is that easy.