Posts Tagged ‘stuff for kids’

Engage, Entertain, and Educate – The Three E’s of Creating Office Decor for Kids

August 1st, 2018

IDS has gained notoriety as being the go-to company for creating office spaces designed with children in mind. When we design for kids we of course engineer the toughest product available, but we also look at the psychological side of how our creations will help children prepare for an appointment.

For this we follow the Three E’s: Engage, Entertain, and Educate!
 

Engage

Passively sitting and waiting for an appointment allows children’s anxiety to grow and fester. IDS wants to engage kids’ minds and bodies in activities in order to distract and calm them, creating good memories associated with their visit to the dentist. You won’t see faces like this at an IDS themed office:

Young patients aren’t just at an office for treatment; they are there to learn. Proving children an opportunity to engage in their education encourages a deeper understanding of their oral health, setting them up for a future of healthy teeth!

The end goal we hope to achieve by transforming an office is to promote a better appointment to allow for smoother, faster treatments and to encourage care to be continued at home.
 

Entertain

Time flies when you’re having fun! This phrase exists for a reason. The busier someone is during a time interval, the faster that time interval will feel like it has passed. There is a lot less time for a child to get anxious, bored, or build up tension about an upcoming procedure if they are lost in play.

From the study Influence of Positive Distractions on Children in Two Clinic Waiting Areas:

“Data analysis shows that the introduction of distraction conditions was associated with more calm behavior and less fine and gross movement, suggesting significant calming effects associated with the distraction conditions. Data also suggest that positive distraction conditions are significant attention grabbers and could be an important contributor to improving the waiting experience for children in hospitals by improving environmental attractiveness.”

IDS gaming tablets, slides, theaters, and play forts provide a number of outlets for kids to burn energy and reduce stress. Whether they are crawling around a play area, laughing at a funny kids movie playing in the theater, or using their mind to solve puzzles on an iPad, kids are having fun!

children palying on gaming tablets in reception area

The proof is in the reviews from parents. Taken from actual online reviews of our clients:

“Makes coming to the dentist fun and something to look forward to!”

“My son left the dentist with a huge smile, asking to come back again!!”

“If you’re a kid and you need to go to the dentist, this is the place to go! The atmosphere is fun, friendly, and eases the anxiety of seeing a dentist!”

If our theming isn’t fun for kids, then we’re not doing our jobs!
 

Educate

Last, but not least, we want to encourage the education of your patients when they visit your office. While making sure kids are having fun is our main goal, we want to ensure that we have an impact on the health of children as well.

Chair-side education is the current model for delivering information to patients. But is this the best way for them to absorb information? Studies show that using passive learning vs active learning creates a stark contrast in the retention of a lesson.

Many studies have found that, while individuals have various learning styles, on average people remember 90% of what they do compared to 20% of what they hear. When you were a student, did you learn more in a lecture hall or when you were actively working on a patient’s mouth? Kids are the same. Passive learning disempowers the student and takes the fun out of learning.

It is important that education is fun at a young age. Research has shown that if students do not consider a learning activity worthy of their time and effort, they might not engage or may even disengage all together in response (Fredricks, Blumenfeld, & Paris, 2004).

Waiting rooms are a place where children can experience hands-on learning and experiment with large replica teeth and other educational installations while still feeling as if they are just playing.

A large tooth with a cavity that emits a foul stink when you press a button gives a vivid demonstration of what actually happens to a rotten mouth. That’s memorable!

Our new augmented reality app created by VIVARRA is a great teaching tool. From jokes and fun interactive games to educational experiences that touch on healthy habits and good hygiene, we try to cover all the basics. The app also includes two-minute brushing timers that patients and their parents can use at home to help ensure they spend enough time focused on each area of the mouth. That’s a great feature!

IDS is dedicated to helping your patients have the best possible experience when they visit your office. Every office we create is ready to Engage, Entertain, and Educate!

 

Fun Facts for Kids – Dental Hygiene in the Wild

August 1st, 2017

Previously we’ve looked at the wildest animal teeth that nature has to offer, but have you ever thought about how animals keep their teeth clean?
 

Cats and Dogs

If you have a cat or a dog you’ve probably had to clean their teeth at some point with paste or dental treats to chew on. Most wild animals don’t have to worry about tooth decay, especially if they’re carnivorous predators who rip and tear at their food. That’s because they don’t eat a lot of carbohydrates and refined sugars – those tasty foods that are full of the sugars and starches that fill our mouths with cavity-creating bacteria.
 

Rodents and Rabbits

Other animals, like rodents, have teeth that grow continuously and have to be ground down by eating and gnawing on hard food. Sharks and alligators are constantly losing and growing new teeth!

If your teeth are always new it’s going to be difficult to have tooth decay. This is why otters can eat fish & eels and rabbits can eat grasses & plants (and lions can eat everyone else) without having to worry about going to the dentist!
 

Cows and Buffalo

The diet of some herbivores naturally cleans their teeth as they chew. Fibourous plants and an extended chew-time allows animals like cows to scrub their teeth as they eat.
 

Monkeys

Humans are not alone in caring for their teeth. Scientists have filmed macaque monkeys using hair to floss their teeth. Macaques living near a Buddhist shrine in Thailand even pull out visitors’ hair to use as floss! And like all good parents, these monkeys also teach their children how to floss. They slow down their flossing, make exaggerated movements, and repeat themselves while the younger monkeys watch.

Want to learn more about this impressive skill? Check out this article from National Geographic!

So remind your patients, if a monkey can brush their teeth, so can they!

 

IDS Experts – Dental Education Stations Engage Patients While They Wait

May 30th, 2017

As an expert at designing displays for museums and engaging children in educational activities, I know how to attract people to focal points, create a safe and interactive environment, and make education a fun activity.

Educating the public is a skill. Whether it’s for museum visitors or dental and medical patients, the same rules apply.

Here are the questions I ask myself during every project we create here at IDS:

  • Will the target audience be engaged and find it appealing?
  • Is the content clear and are the learning outcomes relevant to what you want to express?
  • Is it durable, safe, and robust enough to handle children?
  • If there are moving parts or any electronics, is there a plan for ongoing maintenance?

Part of the education we provide is through interactive displays and education stations. These are a great way to engage both children and adults and can be a fun way to draw people in for a more appealing and memorable dental experience.

Our latest tool for helping dentists educate patients is the Education Station. Whether it’s a feature in your waiting room, or a dedicated educational room filled with different stations that teach various aspects of dental care, there is a lot we can teach young patients about their teeth.

These stations include great educational tools like:

  • A giant model of a mouth so children can learn how to brush and floss their teeth.
  • An interactive station lets them touch and smell giant teeth with stinky cavities.
  • Microscopes that reveal real plaque up close while an illustrated graphic explains why plaque is bad.
  • A custom quiz app tests their dental knowledge.

Using touch, smell, informative visuals, hands-on tutorials, and electronic games, Education Stations are engaging for different ages and will be appealing to different learning styles. Patients are given a new level of education that they might not receive at home.
 

Designing interactives that are strong enough for kids.

I often need to ask questions such as “what is the best case to protect this tablet’s screen from damage?” and “what size of screws are needed to keep this item secure?”. I ensure that the interactives we add to office environments are durable enough for everyday wear and tear from children while still delivering the fun or educational message you want to convey.

As a company, we focus on details that may seem insignificant to some, but to us, they are extremely important and can transform an office from typical to extraordinary.

From our artists to our engineers, we pride ourselves on the level of expertise each team member brings to the projects we create. Our experts want to offer some insight into their work and offer professional advice to help your dental office reach its full potential.

April
Pre-Production Manager
Exhibit Design Diploma
Joined IDS in 2011
 

Fun Facts for Kids – We Speak the Tooth – 3 Silly Dental Sayings to Share with Your Patients and Staff

May 2nd, 2017

Yeah, we’ve all heard them, those popular sayings that have to do with teeth. Maybe the lack of dentistry back in the dark ages made teeth quite the topic of conversation; whatever the reason, a number of ‘toothy’ sayings are still with us today and have some interesting history to go along with them.

 

1. “Long in the tooth” dates back to the 16th century and related to horses because as they age their teeth continue to grow. These changes and characteristics of their teeth make it possible to estimate a horse’s age. As an obvious reference to getting older, it’s fine to say such things about a horse, but it certainly isn’t flattering when talking about humans!

 

2. We’ve all done this at one stage in our lives: “bit off more than we can chew”. Thinking we can do it all, but actually putting ourselves in a bit of a predicament with an overloaded schedule. Funny enough this saying’s meaning is quite literal. Dating back to the 1800s when many Americans chewed tobacco, eager ‘chewers’ literally bit off too large a chunk of tobacco and couldn’t manage it, and so the saying was born. Gross!

 

3. If you’ve ever faced a difficult situation, maybe something you weren’t looking forward to or even something that scared you, you have likely used the phrase “time to bite the bullet”. Your meaning being that you are just going to do it and get it over with.

Well, whatever the situation is that is causing hesitation it certainly couldn’t be as bad as how this phrase came to be. Prior to anesthesia, the only distraction or respite surgeons could offer patients undergoing surgery was liquor and putting a lead bullet between their teeth for them to bite away the pain – YE-OUCH!!

 

What other old tooth-related sayings can you think of? Try and get your patients to think of some during their next appointment.

 

Fun Facts for Kids – Wow Your Patients with These 3 Interesting Facts about This Weird Appendage

February 1st, 2017

The tongue. Not a common conversation topic, yet such a critical part of human and animal survival. Without it, we can’t talk, eat or drink. Those are pretty important functions and in the animal world the tongue plays an even bigger role and has some pretty funky adaptations. Here are 3 weird facts that you can share with your young patients to get them interested in anatomy.

1. Most people are familiar with the chameleon; it has the longest tongue in the world in relation to its body. But did you know it has a sticky, mucus tip on its tongue that can lasso around any prey pulling the victim back in at lightning speed?

a long chameleon tongue catching a caterpillar

Hmmm, you know, we’re pretty sure we’ve seen this same technique used by moviegoers on their freshly popped popcorn. Who needs hands when you have a tongue!

 

2. Cats, giraffes, anteaters, and snakes all have tongue adaptations that enable them to groom, strip thorny bushes, dip into ant mounds, and even smell!

 

3. Nothing is as crazy as the tongue-eating isopod! It’s a critter, well a parasite actually, that targets fish by infiltrating its gills and latching onto its tongue. It not only proceeds to consume the poor fish’s tongue, but it will replace it with its own body, providing the fish with a new fully-functioning tongue it uses, albeit begrudgingly, to grind food against tiny teeth on the roof of its mouth.

an ispod tongue parasite in a fish mouth

Yikes! Maybe the phrase should be “Isopod got your tongue?” No thanks; we think we’d rather have the cat any day!

 

Humor has great uses when it comes to putting patients at ease. Using Humor with Your Patients by  states,

“Studies show that laughter brings physical benefits and releases endorphins. It also boosts the immune system, improves stamina, and can strengthen breathing. And, of course, there are emotional and social benefits too—like reducing depression or anxiety and helping us feel close with friends and family.”

So put your patients at ease and help them build a trusting relationship by injecting humor into your interactions with them during their appointments. You’ll set them up with a positive attitude toward their dental hygiene that can last their whole lives.