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Making the Most out of a Child’s Dental Visit: Tips for the Dental Hygienist

Let"s face it. Children hate the dentist. In fact, most children would rather surgically remove their own teeth than face the horrendous tools used to clean their mouths. However, this is not an option and thus, many of your patients will be children. Despite their tears, their whines, their tantrums and their pleas, they still need to undergo a bi-yearly checkup and cleaning. And, as a dental hygienist, it"s up to you to ensure that they get it.
Below we"ve outlined three tips to handling children when it comes to their bi-yearly checkups. These tips will help make their half hour checkup smooth and tantrum-free.
1. Explain the Tools and Dental Processes:
One of the reasons children hate the dentist so much is because they are afraid of the different tools. Some of them are sharp and dangerous looking. As the dental hygienist, it"s up to you to explain what the tools are used for so they know you are not planning on removing their mouth with the probe.
2. Let them Choose:
Children love to have a say in things. So give them a choice. When it comes to their fluoride treatment, always ask what they would prefer. You should always keep bubblegum, strawberry and other yummy flavors available for your children patients. At the end of the dentist appointment, let them choose the color of the toothbrush or which small treat they would like. This makes visiting the dentist more like a game rather than a chore.
3. Make the dental environment as comfortable as possible:
If it"s possible, try to install television sets over the chairs. Give the child a remote and let them flick through the children"s programs. They will never complain about the dentist again! However, if this is above and beyond your dentist office budget, then opt for children play area in the waiting room complete with books, toys and games room so they can have some play time before their appointment.

By Chris Navarro
Get Dental Hygienist Jobs, Contributing Editor

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