Do you remember being afraid to visit the dentist as a kid? For many children, the dentist’s office can still seem like a scary place. Parents and children alike often dread the next dental visit and experience anxiety just walking into the office and sitting back in the dental chair.
The discomfort is so strong it’s common for kids to skip routine dental appointments and preventative cleanings. This unfortunately leads to more significant dental problems later in life. In fact, over 30% of parents said their child was absent from school due to oral health issues.
To help reduce these unfortunate trends, dentists have the opportunity to design their offices as a welcoming environment for children. In fact, hiring an experienced dental office contractor like DESCCO in Berks County is essential for efficient, effective, and reliable office design.
Let’s take a closer look at how to create a kid-friendly dental office with a few helpful tips:
Include a Play Space
Almost every dentist’s office includes a waiting room. Young children can easily become restless if there’s nothing to do, so you could try to distract them by making a designated play area in your office.
This area should probably be placed off to the side of the room and away from areas with a lot of foot traffic. You can also update it regularly with a few new toys or the latest kids’ magazine for older children to keep them engaged. You could even add a video game system to your office, especially if you have a packed waiting room with young patients who could benefit from extended distraction.
Add a Handwashing Station
To ensure easy access to cleaning and washing facilities, you could add a handwashing station or a conveniently placed bathroom. Whenever kids get together, germs aren’t far behind. In a shared environment like a waiting room, a designated room or station for washing helps maintain a cleaner office. Parents will also appreciate easy-to-access hand sanitizers, wash stations, and bathrooms. Additionally, recent research has shown that paper towel dispensers are on average a more hygienic way to dry hands than other methods, so keeping paper towels handy would be a great help!
Offer Relaxing Spaces
It’s rare for a child (or even an adult) to completely feel comfortable and cooperative when it’s time for dental work. Since one of the most important challenges for dental staff is to help a child be a good patient, including a TV can help distract and engage them. While a TV in the waiting area or even the play area is also a good idea, don’t hesitate to create a more complete entertainment or relaxation nook or corner of the office. Adults and children both need to feel at ease, and a designated alcove can enhance a patient’s comfort.
Don’t Overdo the Styling
Just because you want your office to be kid-friendly doesn’t mean you have to compromise the design. Your dental office doesn’t have to look like a cartoon environment to appeal to children. Kids will grow up quickly, and if you want to ensure your customers keep coming back child-only design features are not necessary. With an environment that is aesthetically pleasing for all ages, your young customers are likely to come back well into their 30s and 40s and beyond for trusted dental services.
With the right layout and features, your dentist office can easily keep kids engaged and happy, and parents too! If you’re interested in developing a kid-friendly dental office, don’t hesitate to contact us in the Berks County and surrounding areas today for more information and to get construction estimates toward completing the work you need. We’re ready to help you on your next project!