portrait of african american boy on blue background

If you’re a new parent, you will eventually have to choose a dentist for your little one. Are there differences between regular dentists and pediatric dentists? The answer to that question is a definite yes! Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids can help you understand why.

First Things First

Baby teeth begin to grow in a child’s mouth within the first six months of life. By 6 or 7 years old, a child loses her baby teeth and begins to grow her permanent set. Without proper dental care, decay and disease developed during a child’s early years can last a lifetime.

Ok, but what exactly is a pediatric dentist?

Pediatric dentists devote their practice to pediatric oral health, from infancy all the way through the teen years. They are experienced and are qualified to care for a little one’s teeth and gums throughout those years.

Interesting. Do pediatric dentists have special training and qualifications?

Yes! Dental training requires four years of education and experience in a clinical setting. Candidates have to earn a bachelor’s degree, graduate from dental school, and then pass certification exams to become a licensed dentist. Additionally, pediatric dentists must complete two extra years of speciality training for:

  • Infants
  • Children
  • Teenagers
  • Special needs children

What kind of treatments do pediatric dentists provide?

Tons! They include but are not limited to:

  • Oral examinations, which includes risk assessment for caries
  • Preventive care, which includes cleanings as well as dietary and nutritional recommendations
  • Help with habit-breaking such as pacifier or thumb sucking
  • Early discovery of the need for corrective orthodontics, for dental alignment and/or bite correction
  • Treatment of cavities and other defects
  • Management of gum disease and conditions including ulcers, mucoceles, and pediatric periodontal disease
  • Emergency care for damaged or knocked-out teeth

I love my little one, but he can be a handful. Are pediatric dentists trained for tikes like mine?

Yes. Pediatric dentists know that most children are not always calm and cooperative during dental visits. Pediatric dentists know how to conduct a dental examination in ways that make children feel comfortable.

Additionally, the equipment in a pediatric dentist’s office is arranged and the office is decorated with children in mind.

Is there anything I can do to prepare my child for his first visit?

Indeed there is. This checklist should prove helpful:

  • Answer your child’s questions positively and avoid using scary words. The vast majority of first visits do not include any painful procedures, so avoid using words like “hurt.”
  • Give the child some control over the visit. Letting him decide which of his favorite toys to bring along, for example, may help.
  • Once you’re at the office, let your dentist have the stage. This will allow him to connect and build a relationship with your child. (Remember there will be plenty of time to ask questions after the examination.)

Do I, as a parent, have a role to play in my child’s ongoing oral health?

Yes. In fact a parent or caregiver plays the most important role in a child’s ongoing dental care. Ask questions to make sure you understand the dentist’s recommendations. This includes discussing topics like cavity prevention, treatment and when the use of anesthesia may be recommended.

Dr. Matt and our team are ready to help you and your little one with every step of his oral care. Call our Overland Park, KS, office at (913) 685-9990 or schedule an appointment online today.

Little patient conversing with her dentist at dental office before her regular checkup for cavities and gum disease.

While it’s more prevalent in adults, younger kids and adolescents are still at risk for periodontal (gum) disease. Something worth smiling about is that gum disease is treatable. In this article, we talk about gum disease and how to handle it.

How Gum Disease Forms in Children

When harmful bacteria, food particles, and sugar build up on teeth and gums, they produce a sticky film called plaque. Plaque buildup can lead to puffy, inflamed, and bleeding gums. If this gets worse, severe gum disease can loosen teeth and damage the soft tissue and bones underneath them.

Signs of Gum Disease in Children and Teens

Chronic gingivitis is widespread in children and is the mildest form of gum disease. Here are four signs of gingivitis:

  • Inflamed gums that look puffy, swollen, and bright red
  • Bleeding gums during brushing, flossing, or any other time
  • Bad breath (halitosis) that does not clear up after brushing and flossing
  • Calculus (hardened plaque and tartar) builds up

Thankfully, gingivitis is treatable and reversible through at-home hygiene routines and professional dental intervention. However, left untreated, gingivitis can gradually progress into more severe forms of periodontal disease.

Periodontitis happens in otherwise healthy young people and typically attacks around puberty or later in life. The three stages of periodontitis are:

·        Early stages of periodontitis stem from gingivitis. Gums may recede or move away from the teeth and sometimes expose tooth roots. Slight bone and connective tissue loss are common signs during the initial stage of periodontitis. Patients may also experience sensitivity to temperature or discomfort when chewing.

·        Moderate periodontitis is more destruction of bone and connective tissue. Multiple teeth may be abnormally spaced and feel loose or separated. Periodontal pockets begin to form and fill with bacteria and tartar.

·        Severe jaw bone loss and increased tooth mobility accompany advanced forms of gum disease. Periodontal pockets deepen and may fill with bacteria, tartar, and even pus (if infected). Teeth are more at risk of falling out at the advanced stage of gum disease.

How to Prevent Gum Disease

A consistent oral hygiene routine is the most efficient way to prevent and treat gum disease. Simple oral hygiene care includes:

  • Thoroughly brushing and flossing teeth twice a day
  • Using a pea-sized fluoridated toothpaste (if the child is over two years of age)
  • Rinsing the mouth with a mouthwash to reduce oral bacteria
  • Enjoying a healthy diet that is low in sugar and starch
  • Visiting the dentist twice a year for checkups and cleanings

Good oral hygiene routines are essential for babies, children, and teenagers. While it’s normal for a kid to sneak a sweet treat or miss brushing here and there—sticking to at-home oral hygiene, eating a balanced diet, and regular dental checkups are imperative. These healthy habits help protect children against gum disease and other health problems.

How to Treat Gum Disease

Here are some ways dentists treat all stages of gum disease:

  • Good dental habits (as mentioned in the last section) can help fight gingivitis.
  • Scaling and root planing can remove plaque and tartar on the surface of the teeth and under the gum lines. This treatment can also smooth tooth roots and reattach gums to the teeth.
  • Antibiotics may be put in the periodontal pockets or orally in a pill form. Sometimes, dentists also prescribe an anti-bacterial
  • Surgery is needed to restore gingival tissues damaged by advanced gum disease.

Track and Treat Gum Disease in Overland Park, KS

Childhood gum disease requires professional care. Dr. Matt helps parents manage and treat gum conditions that detriment oral health and overall wellness. Call 913-685-9990 or message us online to schedule an appointment at Smiles Dentistry for Kids.

baby boy drinking water from a green cup

When it comes to staying hydrated and healthy, water is the best option. Juice, soda, tea, milk, and sports drinks all have benefits (well, maybe not soda), but they also have several negative effects. For example, children who drink milk right before bedtime are much more likely to develop cavities than children who drink water at nighttime. Sports drinks, sodas, and juices are also filled with sugars that interrupt the health of the oral microbiome.

While it may take some convincing, it’s worth it to get your little one to drink more water! Here are the benefits of water for oral health:

1. Water can strengthen dental enamel.

Since 1945, fluoride has been added to public water systems. Fluoridated water has proven itself as one of the best defenses against childhood tooth decay. When children drink water that contains fluoride, it mixes with saliva and remineralizes and strengthens dental enamel, lessening their chances of developing cavities.

If your child is drinking mostly bottled water, he probably isn’t experiencing these benefits! Be sure to find a bottled water that contains fluoride to reduce your child’s risk of tooth decay.

2. Water cleans the mouth.

Unlike sugary drinks, water rids the mouth of food particles and cavity-causing bacteria without leaving anything behind. Sports drinks, soda, juice, and even milk leave unwanted sugar and acids lingering on the teeth and gums that can cause cavities.

Water also removes stains that could cause your child’s teeth to become dull or yellow. Sugary, dark-colored drinks are one of the most common teeth-staining agents.

3. Water helps the mouth produce more saliva.

Did you know that saliva actually plays a very significant role in your child’s oral health? More concerning than your little one producing too much saliva is when he or she isn’t producing enough!

Saliva helps us break down and digest food properly and keeps us from experiencing dry mouth (which can be extremely uncomfortable!). The more water your little one drinks, the better she will digest food and avoid dry mouth.

Check out this blog to learn how to help your little one if he or she is experiencing dry mouth.

4. Water doesn’t contain any sugar.

Children over two years of age and older should consume no more than 25 grams of sugar per day. Just one apple juice box can contain 23 grams of sugar!

Not only does sugar contribute to cavities, but it also contributes to childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes. By simply avoiding these drinks, your child’s oral and overall health could dramatically improve.

If you want to “spice up” your little one’s water to make it more appealing, try adding fruit, such as strawberries and blueberries to give it a little more flavor. Some parents add a small amount of juice to their child’s water too.

For more tips to improve your child’s oral health…

Contact our friendly dental team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park! Dr. Matt and his team of hygienists are passionate about helping children avoid childhood tooth decay. That’s why we offer preventive dentistry methods that are safe and effective and focus on educating our patients and their parents in easy-to-understand language.

Join our family! Call (913) 685-9990 to schedule your child’s first visit.

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, it’s our privilege to serve the Overland Park community by providing kid-friendly, compassionate, and excellent dental care. If you’re new to the area or are just searching for a new pediatric dentist, we would love to meet with you! Until then, check out this blog to learn more about our dental practice.

But first, let us introduce you to our pediatric dentist!

Dr. Matt

Running his own pediatric dental practice has always been Dr. Matt’s dream. In doing so, he is able to teach kids and their families about the dangers of tooth decay and how to avoid it in a fun, non-clinical environment.

Dr. Matt’s education at the UMKC School of Dentistry and the Pediatric Dentistry at Northwestern University has prepared him to be an incredible resource for parents. The countless hours of hands-on experience he received at Children’s Memorial Hospital has equipped him to provide excellent care to children and teens.

All of this combined with his passion for working with children, flexibility, and high energy, make him the best choice for children’s dentistry in Overland Park.

Dr. Matt has worked hard to create an office where our patients and their parents feel welcome and cared for. Part of this is ensuring that we consistently create enjoyable experiences.

At our pediatric dentist office, here’s what you can always expect:

Personalized Care

We recognize that every child is unique which means that every child requires unique care. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, that’s what they get!

Our team gets to know you and your little one so that he or she can have the best dental experience possible. Does your child have a favorite TV show or book character? Is he more shy or outgoing? Does she play a certain sport? We take these into consideration before every single appointment! Knowing more about our patients makes the entire dental experience better for all parties involved.

No Surprises

Dental insurance can be complicated, but our administrative team works diligently to ensure you’re never surprised by unexpected expenses. We have a comprehensive understanding of your benefits and will communicate those effectively, so you always know what to expect.

Additionally, we strive to be consistent in every area of our practice because we know that familiarity brings comfort.

Diligence

Every patient deserves to receive diligent care from focused dental professionals. This way, we never miss an oral health care problem that needs to be addressed or an opportunity to teach your little one how to care for his teeth properly (that is our job after all!).

Consistency

Consistency is so important for children because it helps dissolve worrisome feelings. Dr. Matt understands that being a consistent figure in your child’s life will make sure going to the dentist is never a cause for fear or anxiety. This means, your child will always meet with Dr. Matt and no one else for every single appointment.

This isn’t just beneficial for our patients; Dr. Matt loves building relationships with his patients. He is just as excited about dentistry as he is about working with children, so every appointment is his dream come true!

Schedule an Initial Consultation

When you and your little one are ready, we’re here for you. Call (913) 685-9990 to schedule your child’s first visit.

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.

kid dressed as superhero

We all desire for our children to grow up happy and healthy, and their mouths have so much to do with that! When a child or teen has a healthy, beautiful smile, they feel more confident and capable to do things that they may otherwise shy away from.

The key to helping your child create good oral hygiene habits is choosing a kids’ dentist (also called a pediatric dentist) that they love. Finding a great dentist for your child could be the difference between creating a positive, healthy view of oral hygiene and a negative, fearful one.

To find a great pediatric dentist, you must know what you’re looking for. When you ask friends or family members for recommendations, or when you search Google, be sure to choose a “kids’ dentist near me” with these five qualities:

1. Experience

Pediatric dentists are specialists. This means that a large part of their education was centered around working with children and learning how their mouths develop. It’s important to choose a kids’ dentist that knows and understands exactly what should be happening and when as it pertains to your child’s teeth.

Pediatric dentists also have years of experience in handling children of all ages (and attitudes). In fact, it’s what they sign up for! Choose a kids’ dentist so you know he won’t be surprised by anything your child throws at him (literally and figuratively).

2. A desire to educate

Kids’ dentists have a huge responsibility—teaching toddlers, adolescents, teens, and their parents the most effective oral hygiene habits. Your child’s dentist should be enthusiastic about teaching you and your child how to brush and floss properly. He should also do so in a way that’s easy for kids and adults to understand.

A pediatric dentist will be eager to answer any questions you have about your child’s oral health. After all, you two are working together to achieve the same goal!

3. A passion for children

Did you ever have a teacher in grade school that seemed to dislike his students? Unfortunately, that doesn’t just happen in the education field—it can happen in dentistry too. Make sure the kids’ dentist you choose actually enjoys children.

You’ll should be able to tell pretty quickly how much the dentist enjoys children by the office environment, the attention he gives your child, and his overall countenance. Truly, it’s not hard to tell when someone doesn’t enjoy their job. Just don’t let it affect you! Move on to the next pediatric dentist until you find one who cares about your child’s oral health as much as you do.

4. Knowledge of children

In addition to knowing how children’s teeth work, pediatric dentists must understand how children are wired in order to work with them. Your child’s dentist should know how to keep your child’s attention, distract him from uncomfortable moments, and help him relax in fun ways.

5. A friendly spirit

Taking your child to the dentist for the first time can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. A great pediatric dentist will ensure you and your child feel welcome and valued during the first visit and each time after by doing the following:

  • Getting to know you
  • Getting to know your child
  • Providing a comfortable, fun environment
  • Offering a tour
  • Having a kind, welcoming dental team

Our Kids’ Dentist

Looking for a kids’ dentist in Overland Park? Look no further! Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids has all of these qualities and more. Our desire is to create a fun, comfortable environment for kids of all ages to enjoy.

To meet with our friendly and experienced pediatric dentist, call (913) 685-9990 today.

little girl brushing teeth

Dental care for infants and children can seem overwhelming but having a knowledgeable and helpful pediatric dentist on your team can make everything much simpler! A great pediatric dentist is passionate about three things: dental care, children, and patient education. This trifecta ensures that the dentist you choose will care for your little one’s oral development just as much as you do AND have the tools to teach you everything you need to know.

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, certainly meets the standard of a great pediatric dentist. For this reason, he is the go-to guy for so many parents in the Overland Park area.

Here are some of the most frequent questions he receives from concerned and caring parents every day:

1. How do I best clean my baby’s teeth?

Your baby’s teeth should be cleaned as soon as they erupt. Simply use a clean, damp washcloth, finger brush, or gauze pad to wipe the top, front, and back of the new teeth and the tip of the tongue. This should be done after meals and at bedtime.

You may also use a pediatric-dentist-approved baby toothbrush with a rice-grain-sized amount of toothpaste. These toothbrushes are extremely soft and have no more than three rows of bristles. Toothbrushes or finger brushes that are more than two months old should be thrown out and replaced.

2. How old should my baby be before I introduce her to fluoride toothpaste?

As soon as the first tooth emerges! Dentists used to recommend waiting until age two, but new discoveries have changed that fact. As stated in question one, you’ll only use a rice-grain-sized smear of toothpaste until your baby reaches three years of age.

3. How do I keep my kid’s teeth healthy?

For children above age three, follow these guidelines:

  • Brush with fluoride toothpaste in the morning and evening
  • Floss daily
  • Reduce sugar in their diet
  • Drink lots of water
  • Visit a pediatric dentist regularly

To receive more detailed oral health tips, visit a pediatric dentist who can evaluate your child’s mouth and determine his specific oral health needs.

4. What should I do if my child has a toothache?

If your child is complaining about tooth pain, first rinse the area with warm saltwater. Then, place a cold compress on the side of the face where the pain is (especially if it’s swollen). If necessary, give him or her children’s pain medication. Be sure to follow the dosage instructions on the bottle. Finally, contact your pediatric dentist.

If your child is experiencing a fever, bleeding, or other concerning symptoms along with the toothache, contact your pediatric dentist immediately for an emergency visit.

5. How are thumb sucking and pacifier habits harmful?

Fortunately, most children stop these habits on their own so they don’t pose any problems. However, if your child still sucks his thumb or uses a pacifier past age three, you may need the help of a pediatric dentist to avoid oral development problems such as:

  • Misalignment
  • Overbite or underbite
  • A lisp
  • Sensitivity or changes to the roof of their mouth

6. At what age should a child brush their own teeth?

Most children learn to brush their teeth around age six. However, as the parent, you know your child best! It’s never too early to begin teaching your child to brush his own teeth. Just remember to oversee and assist him until you’re confident he’s doing it correctly.

7. When should my child receive their first dental exam?

At least six months after their first tooth emerges. The pediatric dentist will check to make sure everything is developing properly and give you tips on how to care for your child’s mouth.

8. What should I expect on our first visit?

Your child’s first visit to the dentist usually lasts between 20 and 40 minutes. It will be very laidback and simple. Not every dentist is the same, but here’s what our first-time patient experience includes:

  • Office tour
  • Meeting the dentist and team members
  • Reviewing your child’s dental and medical history
  • Discussion about healthy teeth and jaw development
  • Review of your oral healthcare routine
  • An oral exam
  • A conversation about your child’s oral health needs

If appropriate, the pediatric dentist may suggest a dental cleaning.

9. How frequently should a baby see the dentist?

Infants, toddlers, adolescents, and adults should all visit the dentist every six months. This is the best way to prevent cavities and other dental problems.

In some cases, your pediatric dentist may recommend more frequent visits.

10. What’s the difference between a pediatric dentist and a family dentist?

Pediatric dentists are to dentistry what pediatricians are to medicine. Pediatric dentists complete two to three years of specialty training that makes them experts on children’s oral health development. Family dentists treat patients of all ages, including children, but without the same training.

To meet with our pediatric dentist for specific advice about your child’s mouth, call (913) 685-9990 today.

little girl flossing

Many parents ask the question: if my child’s teeth aren’t permanent, how important is it for him to floss? To which we answer: extremely! Your child’s baby teeth aren’t just taking up space until they fall out, they allow your child to chew, speak, and smile properly. Without proper oral hygiene, these functions can be impaired. 

Baby teeth also hold space in the jaws for developing permanent teeth. When a baby tooth falls out too early because of decay or trauma, the permanent teeth are more likely to come in crooked. While using floss won’t help fight against trauma, it will remove food particles and bacteria from the hardest to reach places to prevent tooth decay and gum disease.

Because of this, pediatric dentists like Dr. Matt and the American Dental Association recommend teaching children to floss when they have two teeth that touch. 

In addition to the reasons mentioned above, teaching your child to floss now will set him or her up for oral and overall health success in the future! 

Here are five surprising benefits of dental floss: 

1. Reduces bad breath

This is probably a little less shocking but flossing also reduces bad breath. If you’ve noticed your child constantly has bad breath despite good brushing habits, give floss a try! 

Allowing tartar to remain on your teeth is like your child leaving a glass of unfinished milk under his bed– over time, it will make itself known (and you’ll probably be the first one to smell it!). 

Have your child floss regularly for a week and see if you notice an improvement. If not, contact your pediatric dentist for an appointment. 

2. Prevents gingivitis

Flossing removes plaque buildup on the gum line that leads to gingivitis. The first sign of gingivitis (which is the first stage of gum disease) is bleeding gums. However, don’t be alarmed if your child’s gums bleed the first few times he flosses– this is normal. 

If your child’s bleeding gums are also red and swollen, a trip to your pediatric dentist may be necessary. 

3. Reduces risk of heart disease

Heart disease is often associated with gingivitis. Bleeding gums opens the pathway for bacteria to enter into the bloodstream and attack the heart. This may result in heart disease or blood clots. Daily flossing is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of heart disease (especially in men). 

You probably aren’t worried about your child developing heart disease now, but in twenty years, you’ll be glad you taught him how to floss. 

4. Controls diabetes

As surprising as it sounds, flossing and diabetes have something in common– oral bacteria. For children and adults with diabetes, the removal of oral bacteria with dental floss actually helps stabilize glucose levels. 

To experience this benefit, consistency is key. Be sure to floss at least once a day to eliminate as much bacteria as possible. 

5. Reduces risk of pulmonary disease

When our mouths are healthy, the rest of the body benefits. This is because the mouth is a direct channel to the other organs in the body, including the respiratory system. Sometimes, the oral bacteria in our mouths find their way into the lungs and can lead to bronchitis and pneumonia. 

However, this only happens when there are large amounts of bad bacteria in our mouths. Dental floss is a sure way to limit the number of disease-causing bacteria. 

Types of floss

There are several types of floss to choose from:

  • Flavored floss
  • Dental tape
  • Monofilament floss
  • Floss pick
  • Waxed and unwaxed floss

It doesn’t matter which one you choose as long as you do choose one!

Flossing for fun

Teaching your child good oral hygiene habits is no easy task, but it can be done! Check out this blog to learn how to floss properly and ways to make it enjoyable for your little one.

Along with brushing and flossing, be sure to schedule regular dental appointments with a pediatric dentist near you to keep your child’s smile bright and healthy. 

To schedule an appointment at our kid-friendly dental office, call (913) 685-9990 today. 

kids looking at camera

Your child’s first dental experience could impact the way he feels about the dentist for the rest of his life. Feeling the pressure? Don’t stress! Choosing a kids’ dentist that prioritizes your child’s comfort and overall experience is simple when you follow four simple steps.

When you select a dentist like Dr. Matt, your child will actually enjoy going to the dentist—we guarantee it! Our dental team puts our patients first by treating them like family, caring for their developing smiles, and providing a kid-friendly office environment.

 To find a great kids’ dentist near you, follow these practical steps:

Step 1: Read reviews

The quickest way to find the nearest pediatric dentists is to type “pediatric dentist near me” in the Google search bar.

The best pediatric dentists have raving reviews. To find these, check out Google Reviews or the dentist’s Facebook page. The dentists with the most five-star reviews are the ones you need to add to your list.

Be sure to read through the reviews to learn more about the dentist, the office environment, and available services.

To ensure you’re choosing the best kids’ dentist, look for reviews like this one:

“Dr. Matt and his team are extremely professional and our incredible with their patience. My daughter has a lot of anxiety about going to the dentist and they always treat her with extreme patience and kindness. The office is decorated and bright colors and makes you want to be a kid again yourself! I would recommend this place to anyone.” – Amy Allen

Step 2:  Visit the website

Now that you have a list of pediatric dentists near you, it’s time to check out their websites. Usually, the website reflects the office environment. For example, if the website is full of fun colors and happy children, that’s most likely what you’ll find when you visit the office in person!

On the website, you should also find information about:

  • The dentist’s background and education
  • A meet the staff page to familiarize yourself with people you may meet
  • Expectations for the first visit
  • Interesting blog topics

Take a good look around to find all the information you need to make the best decision for your child. If the website doesn’t answer a question you have, feel free to call the office to ask a team member.

Step 3: Schedule the First Visit

The best way to learn about a dentist, his team, and the office environment is to schedule an introductory visit. Most importantly, your time at the office will give your child a chance to develop his own opinion about the dentist and office. Remember, your child’s opinion is the most important!

Not all pediatric dentists are the same, but at Smiles Dentistry 4 Kids, you can expect the first visit to include:

  • An office tour
  • Meeting the dentist and team members
  • A review of your child’s dental and medical history
  • Information about healthy teeth and jaw development
  • Reviewing your oral healthcare routine
  • A dental cleaning (if appropriate)
  • An oral exam
  • A conversation about your child’s specific oral health needs

These visits typically take between 20 and 40 minutes. For the first appointment and each one after, you and your child can count on consistent, personalized care from our friendly dental team.

Step 4: Make the commitment

If the visit was less than satisfying, feel free to move on to the next pediatric dentist to compare experiences. However, if your first experience was exceptional—and kid-approved! —there’s no need to go anywhere else!

We believe these four steps will lead you to a kids’ dentist who meets your little one’s specific needs, offers simple and effective advice, and provides a relaxing but fun environment.

To schedule a first visit with our Overland Park pediatric dentist, call (913) 685-9990.  

father and son

Did you know that your child should visit the dentist at least six months after his or her first tooth erupts? Whether you’re right on time or a little late, the important thing is that you are preparing your little one for their first visit to the dentist now.

For that, we want to say thank you! Thank you for prioritizing your child’s oral health. Regular visits to the dentist promote the healthy development of a child’s teeth and gums which is crucial to helping them maintain a healthy smile for the rest of their lives. And it all starts with their first visit.

To help your child prepare for their first dental visit, try these five helpful tips:

1. Schedule at An Appropriate Time

Most children are happiest right after they wake up. For this reason, scheduling an appointment in the morning or after naptime is extremely beneficial for all parties involved. A happy child makes the dental appointment much easier on the parents and the dental team. Your child will also be well-rested so you don’t have to worry about him falling asleep during the appointment.

Bonus tip: Try to show up a little early to give your child time to explore the waiting room filled with toys, games, and bright colors. This will make him feel comfortable right away!

2. Read Dental-Themed Books (Or Watch TV Shows)

Most children’s authors and TV shows have a book or episode about a character’s first visit to the dentist. Books with pictures are a great way for your child to see what a dentist’s office looks like and hear about the character’s positive experience, and a TV show can help him acclimate to the sounds of a dentist’s office.

Check out these seven picture books to get your kid ready for the dentist. These tv shows also that have an episode about visiting the dentist: Peppa Pig, Arthur, and Bubble Guppies.

3. Use Positive Language

Unfortunately, it’s very rare to hear someone speak positively about visiting the dentist. This shouldn’t be the case for your little one. Be sure to share stories about the good experiences you’ve had at the dentist and explain all the ways dentists are beneficial.

Here are four major benefits of visiting the dentist regularly:

  • Keeping teeth strong and beautiful
  • Preventing bad breath
  • Preventing cavities
  • Creating good habits

If your child is too young to understand these reasons, remember that tone of voice can tell your child a lot about a person or place. Make the dentist office a place to be excited about!

4. Bring Comfort Items

At this point, your child has probably been to the doctor quite a few times so you know exactly what he needs to feel safe. Of course, you’ll be with your child during the entire dental visit, but feel free to bring along a favorite stuffed animal or toy to make your child feel even more at home.

5. Prepare A Reward

If your little one seems overly anxious about the first visit, promise a simple reward once it’s over. This can be anything from ice cream to a visit to the park. You know what your child loves best!

Whatever the reward, your child will have something else to look forward to during the appointment. It may even take his mind off anything that’s making him nervous during the visit.

For the First Visit, Choose the Right Dentist

Selecting an experienced pediatric dentist is the best way to ensure your child has a positive first visit to the dentist. Remember, their first dental visit will have a long-lasting impression, so make it a good one!

Our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt, is one of the best around! To schedule an appointment for your little one, call 913-685-9990 today.

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