For adults, going to the dentist may not seem like that big of a deal when thinking about routine care. For children, however, going to the dentist can cause anxiety and even fear. 16% of school-aged children are reported to have a fear of visiting the dentist, even for a cleaning.
If you own or work for a pediatric dental office, working with these children is an everyday situation. Helping them overcome their fear of the dentist, the x-ray machine, and the unknown is probably part of your routine.
While there are some things that might be out of your control, one thing that’s not is learning how to design a dental office to help minimize those fears. Continue reading to find out why design matters and how to make your dental office inviting for those children you serve.
Switch to LED Bulbs
Even though fluorescent lighting might be more cost-effective, there are many reasons why you should exchange that lighting for LED. Fluorescent lighting has been known to flicker and can increase anxiety or cause discomfort.
LED bulbs mimic the natural light and stay steady, which can reduce anxiety and headaches.
If you need to keep your fluorescent lighting, you might want to consider a light filter. They go over your existing lighting and help lessen the effects.
Replace Your White Walls With Color
Many offices stick to white walls, thinking that the color is soothing. However, white can cause anxiety if there’s no break in color. Consider fun accent walls with colors that promote peace.
Associated with the outdoors, green can help to rest the eyes. Yellow is a mood brightener and revives energy. Blue is one of the most calming colors in the palette and helps clear the mind.
Adding in fun murals and pictures can help take a child’s mind off their fears and gives them something new to focus on.
Distract Your Patients
Many kids are afraid of the instruments and machines at the dentist’s office, even if they never encounter them. Television sets, books, and games can help distract a waiting patient.
Children may also hear words from the dentist they don’t understand when they talk with their parents. Having age-appropriate materials that show pictures or a cartoon to explain what procedures will be done can help alleviate fears of needles and large metal tools.
Naming the tools, explaining what exactly is happening inside their mouth and why, as you go along, can also go a long way in allowing a child to feel safe.
Design With Staff and Families in Mind
While you want children to enjoy their time at your office, keep your staff in mind too. Consider dental office design tips for lighting, color, and entertainment areas that make sense for everyday use.
You also don’t want to overwhelm families by going overboard with too much. You can click here for pediatric dental office designs if you need more ideas.
Get Started on Your Pediatric Dental Office Design
Now that you know why the layout of your pediatric dental office matters, begin your redesign today. Refer back to these dental office design ideas if you need extra guidance.
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