Want to Become a Dental Assistant? 3 Tips for Working with Pediatric Patients

intra oral dental assistant training

If you enjoy working with children, and if a career in the medical industry interests you, working as a pediatric dental assistant could be your career calling! A career as a dental assistant is never boring because every day you can look forward to meeting new patients and working on different duties.

While treating children can have its challenges, ita��s an extremely rewarding career path. You will get to play an important role in shaping childrena��s lifelong dental health habits as well as their attitude towards seeing the dentist.

If youa��re interesting in working with children after dental assistant school, read on for three useful tips!

1. Age-Appropriate Communication Is Key Once You Become a Dental Assistant

Once you become a dental assistant, it wona��t take long for you to realize that both adults and children can get nervous about climbing into the dental chair. Fortunately, you can help ease pediatric patientsa�� worries by providing honest communication about procedures.

The feeling of not knowing whata��s happening can be overwhelming for children. Therefore, by using terminology that children can comprehend, you can help calm any fears they may have. For example, instead of telling the patient that the dentist is about to insert a needle to inject an anesthetic, use child-friendly language like a�?The dentist is going to put your mouth to sleep now.a�? This will help the child anticipate the sensation they will experience, and it wona��t take them by surprise when their mouth starts to feel different. This is an important step in the process of building trust between you, the patient, and the dentist.

certified dental assistant
Explain the dental procedure using child-friendly terminology when you can

2. Provide Distractions When Working With Children Once You Become a Dental Assistant

If you encounter a pediatric patient who is still anxious or scared after you explain the procedurea��s steps to them, try providing simple distractions that will help get their mind off the situation at hand. As graduates of intra oral dental assistant training might know, ita��s important to adjust the distraction to suit the age of the child. If the child is a toddler, try giving them some toys to keep their hands occupied, putting on a familiar childrena��s TV show, or singing or humming a nursery rhyme. If the child is of school age, you can try asking them questions about something that excites them like their favourite sports team, dance lessons, or a recent birthday party. You can also try getting them to count (in their head) as high as they can or ask them how many ceiling tiles there are.

3. Create a Calm Atmosphere When Working With Children

Dentist offices can be scary places for children. Big chairs, scary looking equipment, the sterile smell, and bright lights all contribute to making it an intimidating environment for kids. In order to help ease a childa��s discomfort, do your best to create a calm, warm atmosphere. When greeting children, get down to their level and make eye contact while talking in a relaxed and nurturing voice.

You should always avoid speaking urgently or loudly, even when youa��re outside the room. Loud voices can cause children to feel uncomfortable, especially when they cana��t see whata��s happening from their chair. Another great way to ease a childa��s worries is to put all non-essential tools away until you need them. This way the patient wona��t see any potentially scary looking tools before their appointment starts.

become a dental assistant
Always make eye contact with pediatric patients and speak in a calm, warm voice

Are you interested in a career as a certified dental assistant?

Contact the Canadian Academy of Dental Health to learn more!

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