At a busy dentist’s office, wait times can get longer than expected. Patients and families will be more prepared for their appointment if they are entertained in the lobby. Thoughtful use of a few traditional methods will make going to the dentist a breeze.
Supply Games, Puzzles, and Coloring Pages
A family dentist needs to be prepared to entertain children while they wait for their appointment. One of the easiest ways to do this is with a selection of games and coloring pages. You can find complete coloring books for the kids to fill out or even just stock a folder of printable activity sheets. Then the kids can take their drawing home at the end of the visit.
The best part about this method is that you can often find dentist-themed coloring and activity pages. Use simple word puzzles and image matching games to teach kids about good oral hygiene while they wait for their checkup or tooth cleaning. Don’t forget to stock plenty of crayons.
Update Your Magazine Collection
A good magazine selection is key to an entertaining waiting room. Find magazines geared towards both children and their parents. Consider themes like nature, fashion, motor vehicles, and literature. Try to find issues that don’t contain too many ads; no one wants to be bombarded with advertisements while they’re suffering from tooth pain.
You may want to avoid overly political pieces in your lobby. These can make your patients uncomfortable or worried right before their dental exam. Remember that kids will pick up anything in the lobby, even if it’s intended for their parents.
Stock both the latest issue of a publication and a few back issues. And of course, find an attractive display rack to keep the magazines on.
Put the TV On
In the modern day, most waiting rooms should have a television. It’s up to you whether the television volume is on or off, but you should always make sure that the captions are turned on and easy to read.
Consider what patients you see at different times of the day. If your younger clients tend to come in the morning or early afternoon, run some children’s programming to keep them entertained. If the late afternoon always sees adult patients, you can switch to the news or a local television show. People don’t visit the dentist to watch TV, but the right program can make a welcome distraction.
Public broadcast content is usually played to meet public screening regulations. Check the rules for your area to see exactly what you can play.
Give Out a Small Reward
Everyone, young and old, loves a goodie bag. Dentists traditionally give out a toothbrush, but you can also include a few other hygiene supplies like floss and toothpaste. You should also consider including a sticker or a small toy, and give one to the adults too. After a tiring visit to the dentist, everyone wants something fun as a reward. Cheap plastic party favors can often be ordered in bulk.
A family dentist’s office relies on an atmosphere that is both fun and trustworthy. Use a traditional waiting room set up to provide a sense of comfort and familiarity. Don’t forget that parents can get bored, too; find items and content that will help the entire family relax.