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.

close up of first teeth

A child’s first visit to the pediatric dentist can be overwhelming for both the parent and the child. Unfortunately, dentists get a bad rap, but our team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids is here to change that! During your child’s first visit, and every visit after that, we promise to provide gentle and compassionate care in a fun environment.

If you didn’t know, children should visit the dentist six months after their first tooth erupts or by their first birthday (whichever comes first). In this blog, we’ll discuss what happens during this appointment and provide tips to help parents prepare for their child’s first visit to the dentist.

The First Visit

At our practice, your child’s comfort, happiness, and dental health are our top priorities. We know the first visit will have a lasting impression on you and your child, so we want to make it a good one!

Here’s what happens during your child’s first pediatric dental appointment:

1. Review medical and dental history

While your child may not have a long medical or dental history, every detail matters. The dentist may also ask for details about your dental and medical history to help him predict any future oral health problems or orthodontic issues that your child could encounter.

2. Dental cleaning or polishing and discussion about oral hygiene habits

If necessary, a dental assistant will perform a gentle dental cleaning or polishing. During this time, the assistant and dentist will also inform the parent of the best oral hygiene habits for their little one. This might include:

  • Cleaning the gums after feeding
  • Types of toothpaste
  • Baby bottle tooth decay
  • Thumb and pacifier habits
  • Cavity prevention

3. An oral exam

During this part of the appointment, your child’s teeth, gums, and jaw will be examined by the dentist to ensure they are developing properly. If there are any signs of tooth decay, he will recommend the appropriate treatment. Dental x-rays may also be taken if necessary.

When parents bring their children to the dentist regularly, he is able to track the child’s oral health development to predict and prevent future problems.

Tips for the First Visit

Though we are committed to creating a fun and positive experience for every child, there’s only so much we can do. Parents are the experts on their children, and we need their help!

Here are three tips for parents who are preparing for their child’s first visit:

  1. Schedule the appointment at a good time. You know when your little one is happiest. For many, its right after a nap or early in the morning. If possible, try to schedule his or her first visit at that time. This makes the entire appointment more pleasant for your child, you, and us.
  2. Watch a dental-themed TV show. Your child’s favorite TV show character probably has an episode about his or her first visit to the dentist. Watching that episode can help your child view the dentist’s office in a positive light and reduce any fear or anxiety.
  3. Bring comfort items. You are most likely your child’s favorite comfort item, but he probably has a favorite stuffed animal or blanket that he likes to carry around, too. Bring whatever it is along to help him feel safer and more comfortable in our chair.

Schedule Your Child’s First Visit Today

As a part of his commitment to good oral health for all children, Dr. Matt offers free cleanings and exams for children under two years old. We’re excited to have your family join ours at Smiles Dentistry for Kids!

Call us today at (913) 685-9990 to schedule your child’s first visit.

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