We recently sat down with Dr. Vicki Fidler, a family dentist located in Seattle. She’s been a dentist for 20 years and graduated from the University of Washington School of Dentistry in 1995.
We wanted to learn more about Dr. Fidler’s practice and how she works to make her patients feel comfortable—especially the children. Every quarter, Dr. Fidler’s office hosts a Kids Dental Day where the entire office is transformed into a giant, kid-friendly smile celebration!
Q: When and why did you decide to start hosting Kids Day for your pediatric patients?
A: We started about 5 year ago in an effort to provide positive experiences for our young patients. So many adult patients express their dislike and fear of coming to the dentist because of bad childhood memories. I wanted to figure out a way to change this negative outlook and ensure tomorrow’s adults don’t have the same fear.
Q: How does a Kids Day visit differ from a regular day at your practice?
A: We pick a fun theme for the day and gear the visit around that theme. We decorate the entire office and dress up accordingly. We always do something extra special, too, like hiring a balloon artist or bringing in a photo booth. The kids love it! Past themes include pirates, Despicable Me, picnic, Disney, Hawaiian and Seahawks. April 11th we are doing a safari theme.
Q: How has Kids Day impacted your pediatric patients?
A: It makes them excited to visit us! They look forward to the extra entertainment and tell their parents to make sure to schedule them on Kids Day. It’s great positive reinforcement for children to see other kids having a great time at the dentist.
Q: What do parents think about Kids Day?
A: So many parents tell me their kids are not frightened to come visit us. They love that it’s not a fight to get them in and wish they had similar experiences growing up. I’ve even had a couple of parents who said when their kids ask to come to their visits too because they enjoy coming to the dentist so much. How heartwarming is that!
Q: What advice do you have for other dentists looking for ways to create better experiences for their pediatric patients?
A: Kids Day is great for the children because it creates a fun atmosphere for them. If you make visiting the dentist a BLAST, kids want to come back. And you don’t have to completely transform your office to be successful. Simply consider giving away prizes to pediatric patients. We give away lots of prizes to help with the "sting" of anesthetic, and by lots I mean 10 or more. Good behavior gets rewarded. That’s the key to reinforcing and influencing lifelong healthy behaviors.
Visit Dr. Fidler’s website to learn more about her, her practice and Kids Day.