While some children still dread going to their local dentists, others actually look forward to the experience – that is, if they adore their dentists. These dentists are typically the ones who get a whole lot of patients calling to reserve sessions in their clinics. What’s their secret? Most of them offer both food and toy treats at the end of the appointment, leaving children revelling in choosing which treat they want.

Value Doesn’t Matter

The world, while revolving on rewards, actually thrives on emotion and motivation. These are strengthened even by little things that recognise a person’s effort. Simplifying this scene to that of a dentist’s clinic, the prizes they offer are usually cheap –fancy bracelets, temporary

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tattoos, and stuffed animals. But that doesn’t matter. It’s more about the anticipation of a reward for good behaviour, followed by savouring the thrill of slowly rifling through the choices. Of course, children, with their underdeveloped attention span, often just toss these aside the next day, never to pick them again. That is fine. They’ve already served their purpose.

Just Children Inside

All professionals and entrepreneurs that make up both public and private sectors must realise that people never really grow up when it comes to enjoying the motivational impact of freebies and rewards. The prizes need to be upgraded, of course, as small toys no longer cut it for adults, but it need not be all that big. Anything pleasant that surprises them is enough. A free gift, a discount voucher or a free service are enough to make customers or patients come back.

Even the most affluent of people would form a line for free little things such as shirts and ice cream. Indeed, they could effortlessly afford these things, but it’s fun to put in some effort sometimes. It’s also fun to spend time making choices – as choices often remind that you are in control. You’re not doing things because you need to, but because you can. You are there for luxury, not utility.

So perhaps all industries should pay closer attention to the strategies of many paediatric dental clinics when it comes to motivating children into developing healthier behaviours. Really, every hard-nosed adult is just a child inside.