Managing dental patients can be a challenge. While adult patients tend to be more cooperative and understand the necessity of certain procedures, children can be a different story. Pediatric dentists have a special training in dealing with kids and must be able to create an effective relationship with their young patients. They must be able to explain the procedure in terms that the child will understand and help the parent to reassure the child.
The child dentist can also use various distraction techniques to calm the patient and make them feel comfortable. This can include playing music, showing them movies or even letting them hold a stuffed animal while they get their teeth cleaned. They may also suggest sedation options for the more fearful or anxious children. This is typically done at the dentist’s office in a safe environment and monitored by the child’s parents.
One of the primary focuses of the child dentist is preventing tooth decay and other dental problems. Preventive dentistry for children includes regular visits to the dentist, proper brushing and flossing techniques, and good diet. The child dentist can also help children understand the importance of these habits and how they can impact their oral health in the long term.
Many children are afraid of going to the dentist because it is an unfamiliar experience. They might be intimidated by the large person wearing a mask, the sounds and smells of the dental office, and the tools that are used to perform the treatment. This can be a stressful time for both the child and their parents.
It is recommended that a child sees a pediatric dentist after the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday. This allows the dentist to create a relationship with the child and establish a “dental home” where they can provide ongoing oral care.
Children have short attention spans, so it is important for the dentist to engage them from the beginning of the visit. Meeting a child while they are in their parents’ waiting room will allow the dentist to introduce themselves before they start any procedures and alleviate some of the anxiety that can come from the unknown.
Most pediatric dental offices are designed with the children’s needs in mind. They usually have brightly colored toys, books and games to keep the kids entertained and occupied while they wait for their appointment. Some dental offices even have TVs in the children’s rooms that broadcast cartoon videos to help them relax.
The study by McCarthy et al10 found that the children favored a decorated clinic design with posters and toys over a plain clinic. This finding is consistent with other research that shows that decorating a clinic with images that are familiar to children can make them more comfortable and increase their enjoyment of the visit. Communicating with the children using tell-show-do technique throughout the visit can further enhance their satisfaction with the dental experience.dentiste enfant