When designing and fitting out a dental practice for kids, or a clinic where you happen to have a lot of younger patients, there are a few additional factors to be considered. A clinic that needs to be inclusive of a wide range of ages has to achieve a fine balance between style and functionality while making it a fun place for kids to be. While parents and family members are obviously the key decision-makers, no one wants to bring children to a practice where they’ll feel scared, intimidated, bored and perhaps even end up hurting themselves. Below are some of the amazing tips and tricks we’ve picked up over the years when fitting out dental practices:
Distraction is Key
When creating a child-friendly fit out, one of the most important factors to consider is how you’re going to keep the children entertained. When it comes to attending a dental appointment, there are generally waiting periods before you see the dentist or perhaps even between treatments/sessions on the same day. As most of us probably know, children tend to have a shorter attention span than adults, so a stack of lifestyle magazines simply isn’t going to cut it!
At Dentifit we’ve seen many innovative designs and ideas when it comes to creating play zones for kids. We’ve fitted out waiting areas with wall mounted Ipads that have children-appropriate games and videos installed. Recently, we fitted out a waiting room that had wall hung Lego mats and countless Lego kits for the kids to build. However, if you prefer to keep it simple, some strategically placed televisions and some cubby holes with toys will still make a world of difference.
Kid-Sized Health and Safety
When completing a fit out, health and safety should of course always be a major consideration, but when designing a kid-friendly practice – there are even more elements of health and safety to consider. We often have clients who want to avoid sharp corners and edges that could cause young children to sustain a nasty injury and so they’ll opt for tables with bullnose edges and carpeting, particularly in the kids’ area.
Also, if you’re designing the kind of practice where you expect a lot of children aged patients, like a paediatric dentist, then you can include a toilet and bathroom vanity that are both lower to the ground in order to make their bathroom experience safer and more user friendly, particularly if they might have to brush their teeth before their appointment.
Comfortable not Clinical
When making children feel comfortable in your practice the aim is to, ironically, make it feel less like a practice or a medical space. Children are very perceptive and a fit out that feels cold and clinical will leave them on edge. Instead, think of your practice as the kind of place where children will have fun and might actually look forward to their dental appointment, rather than dread it. A common and effective way of doing this is through the use of vibrant colours and murals which are more reminiscent of a children’s adventure park than a clinic.
At Dentifit, we have also had clients that designed waiting areas which were completely themed around cartoons, children’s fiction and fairies with clubhouses. One of our clients even dresses up as a fairy during her appointments with kids! This is all geared towards making the experience as stress-free as possible for both children and their parents.
At Dentift, we specialise in custom fit outs designed around your style and the requirements of your practice. Our team of experts always complete your fit out on time and within budget without ever compromising on quality. But don’t take our word for it, check out some of our recent projects here. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about how Dentifit can transform your medical, dental or veterinary practice, get in touch with us today!