Children are extremely sensitive to their environments. Without the same verbal skills as adult patients, children rely more on cues from the world around them, to help form first impressions and influence their emotions. Going to the dentist can be scary, but paediatric dental office design can help put young patients at their ease and make a child’s check-up more enjoyable for everyone. Use these design ideas to create a welcoming atmosphere for your youngest clients.
1. Scale it down
Adult-sized fixtures and fittings can be difficult for small children to navigate. Whether they’re clambering up to sit in the waiting room or staring up at a tap that’s out of their reach, children won’t feel at home if they are struggling to use your facilities. Dental offices catering for paediatric patients can make little ones feel at home by providing furniture, taps and toilets in child-sized proportions. Many paediatric dentists also have dedicated children’s dental chairs, which are available in child-friendly colours and designs.
2. Keep children entertained
Nobody enjoys waiting, but children can find it particularly hard, especially if they are expected to sit still and keep quiet for lengthy periods. Giving children interesting ways to occupy themselves will keep both parents and kids happy. Toys like activity tables are great for little ones who like to explore, while fish tanks and television screens will be appreciated by older kids and teenagers. By incorporating an engaging play area into your dental office design, you’ll improve the waiting room experience for children, their parents and the rest of your clients, young and old.
3. Make it exciting
Paediatric dental office design tricks can transform an anxious child into an excited one. Inside the treatment room, you can incorporate themes and colour schemes that appeal to boys and girls of all ages, such as animals, space, or popular cartoon characters. If you have space for a mural, this can be a striking and cost-effective route to child-friendly décor. Lighting and music can help to create an upbeat mood, and dental chairs can be a surprisingly desirable place to be if they brightly coloured or even shaped like an animal.
4. Make room for the adults
Just knowing that their parent or carer will be with them at every stage is a big comfort for younger children. Ensure that you provide seats in your treatment room for parents to stay with their children, helping to reassure little ones that everything’s OK.
5. Distract their attention
Treating younger children isn’t always easy, especially if you have an anxious patient. Using distraction as a technique to get children to forget their fear can be very effective, so think about what they’ll see as they lie back in the chair. Ceiling mounted TV screens or light projections are a great way to divert attention from what you’re doing, so children will be more likely to lie back and relax.
At Apollo Interiors we specialise in dental office design and have worked with paediatric dental clinics like Happy Kids Dental to create bespoke dental clinics for children.
Contact us for more information on our dental surgery design and refurbishment services.