baby boy with blue eyes eating

When will my child develop his first tooth? At what age should all my baby’s teeth be developed? Are brushing and flossing important for baby teeth? We hear these questions from new parents all the time, and we’re happy to answer them! Baby teeth, also known as milk teeth, can be hard to navigate on your own. As pediatric dental professionals, we love coming alongside parents to ensure their children start their lives with optimal oral health.

In this blog, we explain important information about the development, needs, and importance of baby teeth.

1. All baby teeth should be developed by age three.

Most children develop their first tooth between six months and one year old. Dental development usually begins with the bottom two incisors, the top two incisors, and they continue to erupt from the front to the back until age three.

2. Brushing and flossing are essential.

Although milk teeth will eventually fall out, they still require the same type of care as permanent teeth. For baby’s first tooth, use a clean, damp cloth or gauze pad to wipe the tooth and front of the tongue clean. Do this after meals and before bedtime.

When it’s time to start brushing, use a soft-bristled, baby toothbrush or finger brush and a rice-grain-sized amount of toothpaste. Talk to your pediatric dentist about the type of toothpaste that will be best for your child’s mouth.

As children get older and their mouths change, the tools and techniques for oral health will change too. A pediatric dentist helps parents navigate these changes through every age and stage.

3. Milk teeth impact the development of permanent teeth.

When a baby tooth falls out early, the permanent teeth, which exist below the gums, drift into the empty space. This can lead to crowding and crooked teeth once the adult teeth develop. Additionally, an infection and other oral health problems can prevent adult teeth from erupting and cause discoloration, staining, and malformations.

4. Bad habits can distort their shape and diminish their strength.

Before children can care for their own teeth, it’s the parent’s responsibility. This includes cleaning the baby’s mouth after every feeding. When milk remnants sit on the teeth and gums, they can lead to a problem called baby bottle tooth decay.

Using a pacifier too long and thumb sucking can also cause developmental issues such as buck teeth, protruding teeth, and an improper bite—issues that will likely require orthodontic treatment later on.

5. Baby teeth require professional dental care.

Dentists recommend that parents bring their children to the dentist by their first birthday or when their first tooth erupts (whichever comes first) and every six months after. These appointments enable the pediatric dentist to track your little one’s dental development to ensure his or her teeth are developing on time and in the right order.

During these appointments, parents will learn the useful tips for caring for their child’s teeth and gums as well as what symptoms could be a cause of concern. The pediatric dentist also looks for signs of decay, disease, and dental development issues and recommends the necessary treatments.

Learn More from Our Pediatric Dentist

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and our team love helping parents and children understand the importance of all things related to oral health, including baby teeth. To learn more, or to schedule a first visit for your little one, call (913) 685-9990 today.

nervous young girl standing in front of green background

Bright colors. Toys and games in the waiting room. Smiling and happy team members. A gentle, kid-friendly dentist. All of these should add up to a comfortable and fun dental experience for a child. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case.

Dental fear and anxiety are real issues for children (and adults). While most adults can attribute theirs to a bad dental experience, children often can’t. Most of the time, children fear what they don’t know, or they’ve heard horror stories from the adults in their lives.

If your little one is preparing for his first visit to the dentist and is feeling a little anxious, check out these five tips to help him overcome his dental fear.

1. Tell a story about a positive experience you’ve had at the dentist.

Many children fear the dentist because of stories they’ve heard from friends and family members. Change the narrative by sharing a story about a good experience you’ve had at the dentist.

This could be something as simple as dental cleaning and exam appointment that went smoothly. Tell the story in a kid-friendly way. If sharing a story about another dental procedure, try to leave out specific details that might scare your little one.

2. Play dentist at home.

Rather than playing house, school, or doctor, offer to play dentist! This will ensure her first dental experience is a good one. All you need is a comfy chair and a toothbrush. Have your little one lean back so you can brush or count her teeth, then have her do the same for you.

3. Watch a TV show or read a book about a kid who visits the dentist.

SpongeBob, Dora, Arthur, and Peppa Pig all have TV shows about visiting the dentist. This provides an idea of what a dentist’s office looks and sounds like. In many of these episodes, the character feels afraid of the dentist, then realizes it isn’t scary after all. We hope this is true for your child, too!

4. Have her pick out a comfort item to bring to her appointment.

Does she have a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, or toy? Be sure to bring it to the appointment! we want all our patients to feel as safe and comfortable as possible; sometimes that means bringing an item from home to help ease any anxiety, and that’s more than okay.

5. Choose the right pediatric dentist.

One of the most important aspects of a good dental experience is choosing the right dentist for your child. this may require some research on your behalf, but it will definitely be worth it!

Not all pediatric dentists are equal, and we know you want the best for your little one. When searching for a pediatric dentist, look for these qualities:

  • Experience
  • A passion for helping children achieve optimal oral health
  • Excellent patient reviews
  • An up-to-date, detailed, and fun website
  • A priority of patient comfort

We’re sure that a dentist with these qualities won’t let you or your child down.

Eliminating Dental Fear in Overland Park

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and the rest of our team prioritize the patient experience and providing excellent dental care so that dental fear is never an issue.

Here’s a review from one of our most recent patients:

“Our kids had been to many dentist office and it was always a scary experience for them (yes even pediatric ones). We found Smiles from a friend and we LOVE them! They’re so amazing with kids, and scared adults when our kiddos needed some work done. Quick schedule dates and they follow up after every appointment with hand written cards to the kids in the mail-my kids love getting their own mail. They just truly care.”

Malarie C.

Contact our office today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule a first visit for your child.

close up of baby with drool

Babies drool. A lot. Sometimes, parents feel like their baby drools a little too much. The truth is that saliva plays an important role in creating a healthy oral environment that also promotes good overall health. So, if your little one is going through five bibs a day because of drool, you shouldn’t be concerned. Her body is just doing what it needs to do to maintain optimal health.

What exactly is the saliva doing? Check out this blog to learn the benefits of saliva, why your little one drools so much, and what to do if you or your child isn’t producing enough of it!

The Benefits of Saliva Production

One fun fact about saliva is that without it, our foods and beverages wouldn’t taste the same. That’s pretty interesting and cool, but it isn’t close to all that saliva does for our mouths and bodies.

The benefits of proper saliva production include:

  • Helps break down food for proper digestion
  • Speeds up the healing process when the mouth is cut, burned, or wounded
  • Remineralizes teeth to protect against cavities
  • Rids the teeth and other surfaces of food particles
  • Aids in chewing and swallowing
  • Keeps mouth comfortable

As you can see, saliva is so necessary for our mouths. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to function properly, and life would be a little more difficult.

Is too much saliva a bad thing?

Constant drooling may seem concerning, but dental experts agree that an overly drooly baby is normal and even a positive thing! This usually means that the baby’s teeth are developing, and the saliva is actively cleaning the surfaces of his or her mouth. Saliva also helps your baby break down and digest food properly, so be thankful! Another thing to keep in mind is that babies have to learn how to get rid of the saliva by swallowing, so instead of it going down their throats, much of it comes out of their lips.

The only problem your little one may experience is skin irritation around her mouth. Use a soft cloth to gently clean the area, then rub Vaseline or another mild moisturizer to protect the skin.

What about too little saliva production?

Many adults have experienced dry mouth. Infants, adolescents, and teens experience it as well. In children, dehydration is the usual source. Be sure that your child is drinking enough water throughout the day and especially when he or she wakes up in the morning or from a nap.

Other remedies for dry mouth in children and adults include:

  • Chew sugar-free gum
  • Eliminate caffeine
  • Breathe through the nose instead of the mouth
  • Use a humidifier
  • Eat a proper, mouth-friendly diet

Dry mouth is rare in children and is almost always due to dehydration, though certain medications may be the cause as well. Regular occurrences of dry mouth can lead to serious oral health problems like cavities and gum disease. If you are concerned about your little one’s saliva production, contact a pediatric dentist today to schedule an appointment.

Kid’s Dentist in Overland Park, KS

Have questions about your little one’s oral health and hygiene? Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids has answers! If you’re concerned about your child’s mouth or if it’s time to schedule a dental cleaning and exam appointment, contact our office today at (913) 685-9990.

young african american boy sitting in grass

In our opinion, oral health care isn’t talked about enough especially when it comes to infants and children. This leaves parents with dozens of questions about how to care for their little ones’ teeth and gums. Proper and effective oral care is so important at these ages because it lays the foundation for good oral development and hygiene practices.

The importance of children’s dentistry cannot be stressed enough. From the time a baby develops her first tooth, she should be visiting the dentist every six months (this applies to you, too, mom and dad!). The bi-annual appointments ensure your child is developing appropriately and not suffering from any oral health problems.

Want to learn more? Here are our answers to the five most common questions about children’s dentistry:

1. Why are baby teeth important?

Most people understand that adult teeth are important, but since baby teeth (aka milk teeth) fall out, they seem much less necessary. This simply isn’t true. Milk teeth provide infants, toddlers, and children with the ability to chew foods (which aids in digestion) and speak with proper pronunciation.

Can you imagine what life would be like for a child of school-age who didn’t have teeth? Much, much more difficult! This is why we take oral hygiene so seriously. Without proper care, children can experience early tooth loss because of cavities.

2. What’s the difference between a children’s dentist and a regular dentist?

A children’s dentist, also known as a pediatric dentist, specializes in oral health care and development in infants, toddlers, children, and teens. To practice children’s dentistry, the dentist must complete two more years of school than general dentists.

Children are our specialty! Our training and experience equip us to appropriately treat children with oral health problems and answer questions about the best oral hygiene practices for kids.

3. What if my child is afraid of the dentist?

Dental fear is common for children, especially during their first visit. As parents, you can do several things to help your child overcome dental fear, such as:

  • Speak positively about your past experiences with the dentist
  • Watch TV shows that portray dental visits as happy
  • Read books about visiting the dentist
  • Play “dentist and patient” at home

Unfortunately, these won’t help every child. In cases where a child has severe anxiety or fear, the pediatric dentist may recommend IV sedation.

4. How do thumb sucking and pacifier habits affect oral health?

Before age three, there aren’t any consequences to thumb sucking and pacifier habits. These are natural reflexes that become a habit for most children. However, after age three, these habits may cause problems with the growth of the mouth and position of the teeth.

Talk to your child’s pediatric dentist for tips on how to wean him or her off the pacifier or thumb sucking.

5. What qualities should I look for in a pediatric dentist?

Finding a great pediatric dentist should be as simple as searching for the closest one to your home. Unfortunately, not all dentists provide high-quality care. When researching “children’s dentistry near me” or “pediatric dentist near me,” look for these qualities:

  • A kid-friendly environment
  • Good patient reviews
  • A dentist who is passionate about children and dentistry
  • Consistency
  • Individualized care

Have more questions? Live in the Overland Park, KS area? Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids is prepared to answer all your questions and help you help your child achieve optimal oral health. Contact our team today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule an initial consultation.

mother and baby lying on bed

Whether your little one is one month or one year, dental and oral care are important. Baby teeth, also referred to as milk teeth, enable toddlers to speak more clearly and chew solid foods. Just like with permanent teeth, if these aren’t cared for, pain, irritation, infection, and the need for costly dental care can occur.

Our team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids wants to help your little one avoid those problems! Through education, we believe that all children can grow up with healthy, functional smiles. Here are five dental care tips for new parents from our experienced pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt:

1. Clean your child’s mouth at least once a day.

Teeth aren’t the only part of the mouth that requires cleaning. Parents should clean their infants’ gums daily to combat disease-causing bacteria that could affect the teeth below the gums. To clean the gums, wipe them gently with a wet gauze or cloth. Your little one may not like it at first, but he will get accustomed to the routine!

For infants and toddlers with teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste.

2. Limit juice and other sugary beverages.

While apple juice, orange juice, and other fruit juices have some benefits, they are also packed with sugar that leads to bad breath and tooth decay. Water is a much healthier substitute for juice and other sugar-laden beverages.

Limit your little one to only one sweet beverage a day. Or dilute the juice by doing a fourth of a cup of juice and three-fourths of water. This may be an adjustment for your child, but the benefits are worth it!  

3. Beware of baby bottle tooth decay.

Baby bottle tooth decay usually affects a toddler’s upper front teeth and first molars. Naptime and bedtime feedings, not cleaning the gums and teeth daily, and more frequent feedings can lead to baby bottle tooth decay.

4. Learn about healthy thumb-sucking and pacifier habits.

Sucking is a natural and healthy reflex, but one that should be pacified by age four. Prolonged thumb-sucking or pacifier use could lead to problems with the shape of their mouth or how the teeth develop. If your child is between two and four, talk to your pediatric dentist about how to encourage your child to stop his pacifier use or thumb-sucking habit.

5. Find an experienced pediatric dentist.

One of the best things you can do for your child is to find him or her a great pediatric dentist. This dentist should make you and your little one feel comfortable and welcomed. Kid’s dentists work hard to create an environment that children love and want to come back to! Additionally, you should feel comfortable enough to ask all the questions and know that the answers you receive will be accurate. There’s no better source for oral health information for your child than a pediatric dentist!

When you and your little one meet with Dr. Matt, you’ll know you are right where you are supposed to be! Dr. Matt loves dentistry and children, so pediatric dental care is his dream job! He loves working alongside parents to set their children up for a lifetime of healthy teeth.

To schedule a first appointment for your child, call (913) 685-9990.

little girl with thumbs up on pink background

New parents often have many questions about dental care for their little ones. Starting at about six months, babies begin to develop their first two teeth, and even those require special care! While Google, friends, and family members may offer advice, parents should seek the guidance of a pediatric dentist who can offer personalized oral health tips for their baby.

Topics that a pediatric dentist may discuss with parents include teeth cleaning appointments, baby bottle tooth decay, proper brushing and flossing techniques, nutrition, and thumb, finger, and pacifier habits.

Gaining this advice and education on your child’s oral health is one of the main advantages of attending regular teeth cleaning appointments. Continue reading to learn about the other benefits of bringing your child to the dentist every six months.

1. Creates a positive relationship with the dentist

From the time that your child’s first teeth erupt, you should schedule a teeth cleaning and exam appointment every six months. Though your child may be too young to remember her first few dental visits, she will quickly become familiar with the office environment, dentist, and team members. As she grows, she and her pediatric dentist will create a trusting and positive relationship so that she never deals with dental fear or anxiety.

Additionally, you will feel much more comfortable putting your child in the care of someone you know and trust.

2. The dentist teaches your child good oral hygiene habits

Teaching your child how to brush and floss properly can be a really fun experience, but it can also be really frustrating if you don’t know exactly what your teaching and what he should be doing.

Pediatric dentists are experts at teaching children how to care for their teeth. Many dentists use fun props and tools in their office to show children how to brush and floss. Making oral hygiene fun goes a really long way for kids!

The dentist will also provide tips for how you can teach your child later on.

3. The dentist’s office keeps oral health records

Having one consistent dentist is important for people of all ages, but especially children. When your little attends teeth cleaning and exam appointments every six months, the dentist can easily keep track of his or her dental development and oral health. This allows the dentist to predict any potential dental problems and create a plan to avoid them in the future.

These records also come in handy in a dental emergency. Rather than having to spend time talking to the parents about their child’s oral health history, they can pull out their records and get to work as soon as possible.

4. Serious oral health problems are avoided

Bi-annual trips to the dentist are one of the best ways to prevent oral health problems for children and adults. During these appointments, the dental team uses special tools to thoroughly clean the mouth, and the dentist checks for signs of decay or disease. When those are detected, measures are taken to treat them immediately. The teeth cleaning itself helps stop cavities, gum disease, and other oral health problems from ever developing.

Kids’ Teeth Cleaning in Overland Park

Want to help your child achieve a healthy, beautiful smile? Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt. We are passionate about providing personalized, compassionate, and fun dental care, and creating a positive experience for our patients and their parents.

Call us today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule a teeth cleaning appointment.

mother and toddler smiling at camera

Visiting the dentist can be a scary experience for anyone, but especially children. The sounds, smell, environment, and experience are completely new and unlike anywhere else they’ve been before. For parents of little ones, preparation is key. The first visit to the pediatric dentist can be a great experience when parents and dental professionals work together.  

The importance of first impressions is not lost on us. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, our goal is to provide a fun, comfortable, and uplifting environment for children and their parents every single time because we know your child’s oral health is dependent on it!

To increase the chances of your child’s first visit being a positive one, follow these guidelines:

1. Watch dental-themed TV shows

Your child’s favorite TV character probably has a show about going to the dentist. We know for sure that Peppa Pig, Arthur, andBubble Guppies all have episodes about visiting the dentist for the first time. These allow your little one to experience the dentist through someone else’s eyes. Typically, the character initially fears the dentist, then realizes it’s not scary at all!

2. Speak positively about the dentist

Many times, children are scared of the dentist because they’ve heard their parents speak negatively about their experiences. However, that doesn’t have to be the case for your child.

Use positive language when talking about your child’s upcoming appointment. This includes using uplifting words as well as explaining the importance of oral hygiene and regular dental visits.

Here are some helpful talking points:

  • Preventing cavities
  • Keeping a beautiful smile
  • Getting rid of bad breath
  • Creating good habits

3. Schedule the appointment appropriately

If at all possible, try to schedule your child’s appointment in the morning or after their afternoon nap. Typically, this is when children are happiest. Try not to schedule their appointment during nap time or lunchtime. This way, the dental experience is better for everyone!

Additionally, schedule at a time that works well for you. If you’re rushing to get to the appointment after work or picking up your child from school, the entire experience could be compromised. We encourage parents to arrive at least ten minutes early to fill out any needed paperwork and give their child more time to get comfortable in the new environment.

4. Bring comfort items

Does your little one sleep with a stuffed animal or favorite blanket? Bring it along! Sitting in the dentist’s chair alone may seem a little scary, but their favorite comfort item can provide some relief.

Of course, you will always be near your child to comfort him if he becomes overwhelmed, but a little extra reassurance is never a bad idea!

5. Offer a reward for good behavior

If your child responds well to rewards and is a little anxious about the visit, promising a new toy or ice cream run afterward could be the encouragement he needs. Not only with this make him more excited, but he will also have something to distract him during the appointment.

Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Today

The first step towards preparing for the first visit is to schedule it! Then you can begin preparing your little one.

If your child doesn’t have a pediatric dentist or you aren’t satisfied with your current one, Dr. Matt and our team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids would love to have you! Contact us today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule an appointment.

little girl holding backpack over shoulder

The back-to-school season is tough for many reasons, especially for parents. Along with getting themselves back into a routine, they have to teach their kids to do the same. If you’re a parent, oral hygiene may be on your mind especially if getting your child to brush this morning was a little more difficult than expected. This part of your morning shouldn’t be burdensome. Thankfully, we’ve got some tips that will make helping your child maintain a healthy mouth a breeze.

Follow these three tips to make this aspect of your child’s daily routine simpler and to help him maintain a healthy smile:

1. Stay consistent

If routines are important for adults, just imagine how important they are for children. Take time to sit down with your child to create a morning routine and stick with the plan. Allowing your little one some input will make it much easier! So, whether the two of you decide brushing takes place before or after breakfast, make it happen every day without exception (at least as much as possible).

According to an article in Psychology Today, it takes an average of 66 days to form a habit. So don’t be surprised if your child is struggling to stay consistent three weeks in. Keep pushing forward! The author also explains that missing a day here and there shouldn’t completely derail the new routine, so don’t get discouraged on the difficult days.

2. Make brushing fun

A major way to encourage your child to stick with their oral hygiene routine is to make it fun (yes, brushing teeth CAN be fun)! This could be as simple as brushing your teeth together or providing positive reinforcement every time your child brushes.

We also recommend that parents let their children pick out a fun toothbrush with their favorite tv show character or color and choose their flavor of toothpaste. These will give him or her something to look forward to in the morning.

If these ideas aren’t enough, a distraction might be just the ticket. Allow your child to watch a two-minute video while brushing. He will enjoy the extra screen time and you’ll enjoy how easy it is to get him to brush!

For more ideas on how to make oral hygiene fun and effective, check out this blog.

3. Pack healthy lunches

Offering your child a healthy lunch or after-school snack may be one of the best things you can do for his or her oral health. Fruits and veggies, high protein foods, and high calcium foods are essential to keeping their teeth and gums healthy because the nutrients support strong bones, create a protective barrier around the teeth, and support gum health.

Try to avoid sugary foods and snacks as much as possible as these create an imbalance of bacteria in the mouth that leads to decay and disease. Your child’s teacher will also thank you for it!

We offer numerous mouth-healthy lunch and snack ideas in this blog!

Back-to-School Pro Tip: Visit a Pediatric Dentist

It’s never too late to take your child to the dentist. While it may be a little more inconvenient during the school year, if he or she hasn’t attended a regular dental cleaning and exam in the past six months, now is the time.

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, would love to visit with you and your little one at our Overland Park dentist’s office. Call us today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule an appointment.

Little boy flossing teeth in bathroom mirror

Brushing and flossing are two of the first things we teach our children about hygiene. Parents begin this process as soon as their child’s first tooth emerges, and children learn by watching their parents care for their own teeth. Though brushing and flossing for adults are simple and sensible, children don’t always view them the same way.

The first step to helping children understand why oral hygiene is important is to explain why we do it. Of course, we know that brushing and flossing are two of the best defenses against tooth decay, bad breath, and gum disease. Tell that to your little one and he or she may not understand.

Find a way to describe the process that’s fun for your child. Describe the plaque in their mouth as the “bad guys” and the toothbrush and floss as the “good guys” and create a fun story for them to be a part of.

Continue reading for more helpful brushing and flossing tips from our children’s dentist!

Proper Techniques

It’s not enough for someone to just have a toothbrush or floss in their mouth two times a day; these tools must be used properly. Be sure to use the following guidelines when teaching your child how to brush and floss.


To encourage brushing, we recommend allowing your child to pick out their toothbrush and toothpaste at the store. Just be sure to ask your dentist about the best toothpaste for your little one! Once he or she has the tools picked out, follow this technique:

  • Place a pea-sized dollop of fluoride toothpaste on the toothbrush
  • Brush the top, front, and back sides of each tooth in small circles
  • Don’t forget the tongue and roof!
  • Spit and rinse

Check out this video for a kid-friendly way to explain this technique!


There are two types of floss: traditional and dental floss picks. For children, dental floss picks may be easier in the beginning, but we encourage parents to teach their children how to use traditional floss as it is more effective.

Here are the proper techniques for both types of floss.


  • Take about 18 inches of string
  • Wrap most of it around one finger (we recommend the pointer)
  • Wind the rest around the opposite finger—not too tightly!
  • Bring the floss up one side of a tooth and down the other
  • Be sure to reach all the way down to the gum lines
  • After cleaning each tooth, unwind the floss from one finger and collect it with the other

Floss picks:

  • Move the floss up and down the sides of each tooth, paying close attention to the gum line
  • Rinse the floss after cleaning each tooth
  • Replace the pick when the string looks worn

Make It Fun!

Many adults find oral hygiene to be boring and unnecessary. That’s why we aren’t surprised when parents tell us that their child refuses to practice good oral hygiene.

If that’s the case for you, try these three tips from our children’s dentist:

  1. Make it a family event. Invite your little one into the bathroom with you and other family members, put some music on, and make brushing and flossing a party!
  2. Use rewards. Create a brushing and flossing chart with stickers that show your child getting closer and closer to a reward. Once he or she reaches that mark, go for ice cream or to the store to pick out a toy—you know what your child likes best!
  3. Utilize technology. Sometimes a distraction is exactly what we need to get something done. Allow your little one to watch a video or listen to her favorite song while she brushes and flosses.

For More Brushing and Flossing Tips

Want to know more about your child’s oral health and hygiene? Call our friendly dental team today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule an initial consultation with Dr. Matt.

laughing little boy

Choosing a pediatric dentist for your little one is an important and meaningful task. As a parent, we know that you desire for your child to grow up to be happy, healthy, and successful. Though we may have different definitions of those words, we can all agree that good oral hygiene affects each of those areas. After all, healthy, beautiful teeth certainly encourage smiling, improve confidence, and have a positive impact on overall health.

So, what’s the first step in helping your child achieve good oral hygiene? We believe the answer is finding the right kid’s dentist! Aside from asking for recommendations from friends and family, we recommend using the internet and your research skills to find the best “kid’s dentist near me.”

In this blog, we’ll explain exactly what to look for and where to find it!

1. Experience

The saying “experience is the best teacher” is a saying for a reason—it’s true! It’s the reason we ask for references when we hire a handyman or babysitter. We want to know that the person is good at what they do and that they have had enough experience to perfect their craft.

When searching for a “kid’s dentist near me” to care for your little one, experience is a must. Pediatric dentists are trained to know how your child’s mouth should be developing but experience helps them know what to do when it’s not. Experience is especially helpful when learning how to handle children’s behavior in the dentist’s chair.

Where to find it: You should find information about a dentist’s experience on his website under the “About the Dentist/Doctor” tab. You can read about our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, here.

2. Good communication skills

A pediatric dentist should know how to communicate well with both children and adults. It is their responsibility to teach toddlers, adolescents, teens, and their parents about proper oral hygiene habits and routines.

Where to find it: The best way to learn if a dentist has good communication skills is to visit the office in person. However, we know that’s not always possible. The next best thing is to read patient reviews on Google. You can find ours here!

3. Passion

There’s nothing worse than dealing with a person who doesn’t love his or her job. Not only are they miserable, but they bring everyone around them down too. We see this in every profession, and pediatric dentists are no exception.

Patients can easily tell if their dentist is passionate about what he does. It shows in his countenance, office environment, and even on his website! Find the “kids’ dentist near me” that seems to give his all in every area of his practice.

Where to find it: Visit the dentist’s website, watch any informational videos, and read through the reviews for details about the dentist.

4. A welcoming presence

Children are often nervous or scared when they visit the dentist for the first time. A great pediatric dentist will make every patient (and their parents) feel as comfortable as possible during their visit. This includes making sure every team member is friendly and warm as soon as patients walk through the door.

Where to find it: We recommend an old-fashioned, in-person visit for this one! Of course, online reviews are helpful too.

Our Kid’s Dentist Near You

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we always look forward to welcoming new patients into our family! We do our best to provide a warm, fun, and safe environment for children of all ages. We know you’ll find all these qualities and more at our Overland Park office.

Call (913) 685-9990 today to schedule an initial consultation for your little one.

We are excited to welcome Dr Tara Craven to the Smiles Dentistry for Kids team!Learn More