Approaches to Treatment
Another way dentists have changed the way they look at dentistry for kids is in how they approach their young patients. Studies like one from the European Journal of Dentistry help dentists determine how to best approach their young patients to reduce anxiety. Dentists' offices have also become much more kid-friendly, especially for family and pediatric dentists. Whereas a dental office would have been intimidating or even frightening just a few decades ago, they're now decorated with bright colors, appealing murals and a floor of toys and books for kids while they wait.
Pediatric and family dentists are also much more likely to have had training in how to communicate with and relate to kids, as demonstrated by an article in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) on behavioral management in the dental office. Kids feel more secure when they aren't left out, ignored or spoken to as if they are inferior. Having a dentist explain what's going to happen in clear, basic terms can go a long way toward keeping a child anxiety-free. New products aimed directly at children, such as Colgate® My First® toothbrush and toothpaste, can help make at-home oral care more appealing.
These changes in attitude toward dentistry for kids and the resulting improvements in their oral care have helped children experience much less anxiety at the dentist and grow up with healthier teeth. As adults, they will also be more likely to visit the dentist, ensuring better lifetime dental health.