How to Be a Child-Friendly Dentist


Most children, and even some adults, are afraid of going to the dentist. The sounds, harsh lights, and fear of pain are some common reasons children avoid going to the dentist at all costs. By making your practice more child-friendly, you will encourage kids to care about their oral health. Beyond that, you will retain your patients and attract new ones through positive referrals.

Here are some ways to make your dental clinic more child-friendly.

1. Start with the waiting area
Your waiting area will make a first impression on the children and their parents. Make your waiting area inviting by hanging fun, dental-related images on the walls. Swap magazines for picture books that have underlying dental themes that the parents can read to them. Also, include a children’s play area with toys that they can play with to distract them.

2. Interact with the kids
As a dentist, it’s crucial to be welcoming and non-threatening towards children. Go and introduce yourself personally and speak light-heartedly. Get down to their level by kneeling and ask them questions about their toys or school. The best way to forge a good relationship is through your first meeting.

3. Make them physically comfortable
More dental procedures can be uncomfortable for kids and parents alike. By using the best and most up-to-date equipment and supplies, like those from Kent Express Dental Supplies, to ensure as much comfort as possible. With advancements in dental technology providing more efficient and pain-free options, you must be able to offer it in your clinic. From using topical anaesthetic products as opposed to needles, and smaller tools for their smaller mouths, you’ll make the experience more pleasant for them.

Make sure that you adjust the seat to fit their smaller frame as well. Allow the child to hold their teddy bear throughout the appointment and ask them to let you know if they are uncomfortable.

4. Explain everything 
The last thing kids want when at the dentist is a surprise. Show children the same respect you show adults by explaining precisely what you’re going to be doing. You can change your wording slightly to help them understand each step. Instead of saying you’re going to do an x-ray, you can say you’re going to take their picture. Letting them know what you are doing will help them understand that it doesn’t need to be scary to go to the dentist.

5. Reward them
The best part of going to the dentist is always the prize at the end. Whether it’s sugar-free candy, a new toothbrush, or a small toy, offering a reward at the end will affirm that they’ve done something right. Not only will it make them happy, but it will encourage them to come back to the dentist again. Give them an incentive and say if they take care of their teeth, they can have another prize next time. Wording like this will motivate them to keep up with their oral care.


  1. I got put off from going to the dentist in my early adult life because of the dreaded school dentist, so this advice would have been great for him! I'm OK now though.

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