Look, children are rewarding and adorable, but being a parent is hard. In our fast-paced modern society, that is more true than ever. As their dentist, you can’t solve all of your parent patients’ problems. But you can solve a few of them.
Let’s talk about four ways you can be the family dentist parents need.
1. Make the Kids Comfortable
Your dental practice can make parents’ lives easier by making their kids’ lives easier! Or more specifically, less scary. This is key to being a great family dentist.
A lot of children are afraid of the dentist, and guess what? Those fears are also a nightmare for mom and dad. Nobody looks forward to dragging a scared, maybe screaming, kid to the family dentist.
If you have a lot of little patients, it pays to take steps toward making them feel safe and happy. We’ve shared five ways to make pediatric visits pleasant and even memorable. We even got some input from Dr. Mary Pham of Lollipop Dental Pediatric Dentistry & Orthodontics, so check that out!
But in short, you want to ensure that the experience at your practice is adjusted for the little ones too: Make the environment fun. Send them home with goodies. Use silly or fun language that they can understand.
2. Offer Dual Visit Options
As parenting tasks go, managing everyone’s schedules is one of the most challenging. Even with just one child, it feels downright impossible. With multiple, at different ages and with unique school events, appointments, and hobbies—chaos. If you want to be a beloved (and successful) family dentist, you’ve got to help parents cut through the chaos.
Allow parents to book appointments where they have a cleaning first and then the hygienist switches to the kids. By enabling them to tag team these efforts, you save the parents time, scheduling effort, and stress. And, you get payment for multiple cleanings in one go.
Since your hygienist won’t need to greet and settle in multiple new patients during that time, he or she will save time as well. It’s a win for everyone.
3. Provide Clear and Simple Continued Care Info
Again, parents have a lot to worry about. So when you end a dental cleaning by telling them about the three major things they should be doing to improve or maintain their child’s oral health, it sometimes falls on already overwhelmed ears.
Instead, consider creating fun little handouts that your hygienist can hand to parents with a templated paper and a pen to take notes while you share advice. Imagine a page with a layout like this:
At-home care recommendations:
You could also produce some informative blog content to share. Here are a few topics that would certainly help parents:
- X Ways to Reduce Sugar Intake
- Tips for Childhood Flossing and Brushing
- The X Best Toothpastes for Children
- Your Child’s Ideal Oral Care Routine—By Age
When you have a backlog of posts like that, you can give some advice and then point patients to your blog to learn more about the topic. For example, “We are seeing a lot of plaque build-up for her age, so I would recommend focusing on flossing. Our website has a great blog post with tips to help you with that.”
4. Enable Easy and Stress-Free Payment
Being a parent isn’t without its financial strain either. Kids are also expensive! So, another way you can be the family dentist parents need is to make the checkout counter less stressful.
We obviously love the idea of creating dental membership plans that work for families. You could include cleanings for mom and dad and the kids in tiered plans that cost more per child added.
But you can also just make sure that all major credit cards are accepted, including CareCredit, and offer in-house financing for major procedures.
There might be no better way to be the family dentist parents need than following these four key steps. So, let’s recap:
- Make the Kids Comfortable
- Offer Dual Visit Options
- Provide Clear and Simple Continued Care Info
- Enable Easy and Stress-Free Payment
When you make things simpler, quicker, and more pleasant, parents will thank you for it.