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Can you do more to create a child-friendly practice?

14 August 2015

Can you do more to create a child-friendly practice?

Recent research has revealed that only half (53%) of UK parents, with children under the age of 12, take their children to visit the dentist regularly[1]. Furthermore, just a quarter (25%) of parents believe it is important to take a baby to the dentist as soon as they develop their first baby tooth. This coincides with reported figures that suggest dental caries among children are rising[2] and that more children in England are being admitted to hospital because of tooth decay than for any other reason[3].

These worrying trends highlight the need for healthcare professionals to educate parents on the importance of regular check-ups. Creating a more child-friendly practice could also help to improve the number of children visiting and encourage them to return.

Starting with the entrance and reception area, practices should be inviting and put both adult and child at ease from the moment they walk in the door. Parents should feel comfortable enough to want to bring their babies to the practice, so that the dentist can check on the development of the milk teeth and ensure any problems or signs of decay can be identified and addressed early4.

A small number of changes can be made within the practice to enhance a child’s experience, for example:

  • Smaller chairs for children to sit on
  • A specific area in the waiting room with toys, comic books and magazines
  • Experienced and friendly staff who can help to build a child’s trust
  • Providing stickers, sugar-free sweets or healthy snacks for children at the end of their treatment.

It is essential to gain a patient’s confidence within the operatory room, and despite including some of the above changes, the dental chair can remain a particularly daunting place. Climbing into an intimidating chair and letting a masked, gloved stranger poke around in their mouth can be a big deal for some young patients[4]. It is important that all patients feel safe and relaxed, and a dental unit that looks and feels comfortable will help achieve this.

A modern stylish dental unit, such as the innovative Skema 8, will reassure patients that they are going to be well looked after and help keep stress to a minimum. Developed by leading manufacturer Castellini, the Skema 8 is designed to optimise the workspace while improving patient comfort. Dentists can work easily without leaning over the patient, and by not intruding so much on a child’s space this may reduce worries and ensure a quick and efficient appointment.

Maximise comfort and provide a professional service to all your patients with the Skema 8 – contact the experienced team at Castellini to find out more.

If you want more information on how to receive Castellini Technical Accreditation, please call 08000 933975 and speak to Castellini UK Ltd directly for assistance.

[1] Dentistry. Worrying trend with oral care in children. Published online 27 July 2014, link http://www.dentistry.co.uk/news/worrying-trend-oral-care-children? [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

[2] Moynihan, P. J. (2002). Dietary advice in dental practice. British Dental Journal, 193, 563-568.

[3] British Dental Health Foundation. Charity responds to child tooth decay hospital admissions. Published online 14th July 2014, link http://www.dentalhealth.org/news/details/801 [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

[4] Mirror. Avoid a dental drama with new child-friendly approach. Published online 29th April 2009, link http://bit.ly/1ql48sB [Accessed 2nd September 2014].

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