little girl covering her face on black background

For children, the world is big and brand new. They are still learning how to navigate their day-to-day lives. So when a new experience – like a dental visit – comes along, it can be frightening. The unfamiliar people, sights, sounds, and smells can be intimidating, even for children who have been to the dentist before. But as a parent, this can be exasperating and leave you wondering: How do you make your child less scared at the dentist?

As with all things related to kids, compassion and understanding are key. You can prepare your child in advance, at the same time showing them that you understand their concerns and that you don’t judge them in any way. Of course, it’s always important to choose the right dentist. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt is devoted specifically to pediatric dentistry. He and his Overland Park, KS, team know how to put little ones at ease and make their dental visits an enjoyable experience. 

Contact us to set up an appointment. 

Talk about What to Expect

Among children, fear of the dentist is very common. In fact, 8% of surveyed 9-year-olds report dental anxiety. Fortunately, good preparation can significantly reduce anxiety. 

Before visiting the dentist, discuss what will happen. If your child is old enough to remember their previous appointments, have them describe what happened with as much detail as possible. Encourage them to remember any fears they may have had and what they did to work through them. 

Especially for younger children, who may not remember their last dental appointments, it may be helpful to play pretend. Use a doll while you or your child pretend to be a dentist. Then have your child play the role of the dentist while you pretend to be the patient!

Read Books about Visiting the Dentist 

There are lots of kids’ books about dentists. Choose a variety of books that discuss what to expect at the dentist, as well as the importance of good dental health. Just be sure to vet the books before reading them to your child. Some books could actually instill more fear, depending on your child’s personality. You know your child best!

Let Them Accompany You to the Dentist 

If they are old enough to sit through it, allow your child to come with you to your own dental appointment. That way, they can see what will happen and learn that everyone needs dental care. 

Choose a Pediatric Dentist

Though there are many great dentists out there, pediatric dentists are specially trained in the treatment of children. Not only do they possess clinical knowledge of children’s dental needs; they also have the energy and flexibility necessary to treat children

Dr. Matt has a great rapport with kids and truly loves working with them. He understands how to help frightened children. With their fun-loving and gentle demeanor, he and his team have their young patients laughing and smiling in no time!

Learn More about How You Can Make Your Child Less Scared at the Dentist 

To learn more tips for dental anxiety or to schedule an appointment, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today. Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990. 

Boy face closeup with a lost tooth

It truly is a pediatric dentistry mystery, where the Tooth Fairy originated. Throughout history and across the globe, parents have built excitement and anticipation around their children’s loss of primary teeth. Indeed, it is a right of passage when a young child begins to see evidence of their growth. Today, Dr. Matt will share some of the folklore around the Tooth Fairy, her mystery, magic, and wonder. Your children will love this!

The American Tooth Fairy

In 1908, Lillian Brown authored an article in the Chicago Tribune encouraging parents to introduce the Tooth Fairy. As the story went, the Tooth Fairy’s token gift prompted children to allow baby teeth to be pulled without tears. Brown suggested a $.05 exchange for each tooth, left under the child’s pillow to help promote the myth.

The average gift left by the Tooth Fairy today is $3.70 in the US, according to a poll by Visa. Other research by Delta Dental shows that in 1998, average payment of $1.80 has risen to $6.23 in 2023! 

Tooth Fairy of the Norse and Vikings

In the 10th Century, Norse parents paid tand-fe, or “tooth fee,” to their children in exchange for lost teeth. Some families would burn or bury a child’s first lost tooth, so he would be spared from hardships later in life. Tradition held that a milk tooth not burned or buried would become cause for an eternal search in the afterlife. 

Another belief was that if a witch found a child’s tooth, she would hold power over that child for his lifetime. 

Also, Viking warriors wore multiple children’s teeth on jewelry to bring good luck and protection. 

The Tooth Mouse of France and Spain

In the 18th Century, French parents told their children of Le Bonne Petite Souris (the Little Mouse). This little critter would leave a coin in exchange for a lost baby tooth. Children placed a lost tooth in their shoes, and the following day voila! Payment appeared in its place.

El Ratoncito Perez, or Perez the Little Mouse, is a similar figure in Spain. Hispanic cultures teach children that El Ratoncito Perez will come at night. He will trade a coin for a tooth left near the child’s bedside.

Other Tooth Children’s Tooth Traditions

Folklore across the globe depicts the “tooth fairy” as a beaver, cat, dog, and squirrel. Some rituals involve throwing lost children’s teeth into the fire, sun, or even between the legs! Parents and children have dropped teeth in mouse holes, placed them in trees, and thrown them over a roof. Stranger still, baby teeth have been purposefully swallowed by the child who lost it, his mother, or a family pet. All of these strange rituals were thought to bring luck, protection, or favor.

We Love the Tooth Fairy!

At Smiles Dentistry 4 Kids, Dr. Matt and our team want your children to enjoy taking great care of their teeth. We help parents and children learn how to brush, floss, and protect baby and permanent teeth from dental disease. Every parent should trust their dentist. We respect the trust our patients and their families place in us. Give us a call in Overland Park at (913) 685-9990 today to schedule your child’s dental appointment.

baby smiling while being held by mother

Being a new parent is exciting! But, it can often be challenging. Amidst the joys and responsibilities of parenthood, it’s essential not to overlook your baby’s oral health. Developing good dental habits early on can set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy smiles. That’s why our pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS, is here to help (read more about Dr. Matt here!). 

Is it time to take your little one to visit the dentist? Schedule an appointment with our top-rated pediatric dentist at Smiles Dentistry for Kids by calling (913) 685-9990 now!

Pediatric dentists understand the importance of oral care in infancy and early childhood. In this blog post, we share valuable tips to help new parents ensure that their little ones maintain optimal oral health.

Start Oral Care Early

Many parents hear that oral care should start once their child’s first tooth emerges, but it should actually start before then. After feeding, gently wipe your baby’s gums with a clean, damp cloth or a soft infant toothbrush. This helps remove bacteria and establish a routine that promotes good oral hygiene.

Introduce Fluoride

Fluoride is crucial for developing strong teeth. The mineral binds with calcium and phosphates to form fluorapatite, which helps rebuild weakened tooth enamel. Once your baby’s first tooth appears, consult with your pediatric dentist about starting fluoride supplementation

Monitor Feeding Practices

Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle. High-sugar liquids (like breastmilk, formula, or juice) can lead to infant tooth decay, known as “baby bottle tooth decay.” 

Establish a Dental Home

Choosing a pediatric dentist for your child is vital. Start early by scheduling the first dental visit around your baby’s first birthday or when the first tooth begins to appear. A pediatric dentist specializes in infant and child dental care, ensuring a positive experience and offering valuable guidance for parents.

Practice Healthy Feeding Habits

As your baby transitions to solid foods, make nutritious choices that promote dental health, such as:

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables
  • Healthy fats, like avocados and dairy products
  • Whole grains
  • Lean proteins

Be sure to introduce a variety of textures and flavors to encourage chewing and jaw development.

Encourage Good Oral Hygiene Habits

As your child grows, encourage independent brushing. Supervise their brushing technique until they can do it effectively on their own using small, circular motions across all tooth surfaces for at least two minutes.

Limit Pacifier Use

Pacifiers can provide comfort, but prolonged use may impact dental development. Limit pacifier use after six months to avoid potential oral issues, like misaligned teeth or bite problems.

Avoid Sharing Utensils or Cleaning Pacifiers With Your Mouth

Bacteria in your mouth can transfer to your baby, increasing the risk of tooth decay. So, avoid sharing utensils, cups, or cleaning pacifiers with your mouth (use clean water instead). 

Lead by Example

Let your children witness your commitment to oral health by maintaining your own dental hygiene routine. Brush and floss regularly, visit the dentist for routine check-ups, and prioritize a healthy diet

Pediatric Dentist in Overland Park, KS

As a new parent, you play a pivotal role in your child’s oral health journey. By following these tips, you can help your little one develop healthy habits that last a lifetime

Start your child’s journey toward healthier teeth and gums by scheduling an appointment at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS. Simply request appointments with our pediatric dentist here or at (913) 685-9990!

little girl flossing on blue background

Oral hygiene begins way before your child can brush his or her own teeth, and it’s more than just toothbrushing. Thankfully, there are steps you can take now and as your child grows to help him or her achieve and maintain optimal oral health. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, we are ready to help you and your little one achieve that goal through routine check-ups, dental cleanings, and other oral health treatments. Give Dr. Matt and his dedicated team a call at (913) 685-9990 now!

Beginning at a young age, you can teach your little one numerous habits that will help them maintain good oral health and hygiene and understand the importance of it. 

1. Make healthy snacks

Instead of sugary treats or drinks, smoothies, and healthy snacks are a great way to encourage good oral health. Think green! You can use healthy ingredients, like:

  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • Avocado
  • Green apples
  • Celery

Use these ingredients in smoothies and salads, pair them with peanut butter or yogurt, or bake them in the oven to create a delicious snack that your child will love. 

These ingredients contain numerous essential nutrients, like vitamins K and C. Both are important for pediatric dental health, as vitamin K helps strengthen teeth while vitamin C keeps gums healthy and vibrant.

2. Offer plenty of water

Water is essential for washing away food debris and bacteria from the mouth. But, kids aren’t exactly thrilled to drink water. 

So, liven things up a bit by adding a couple of drops of food coloring to their water! Alternatively, you can add sugar-free flavor packets (like lime or green apple!) to your kiddo’s water for tasty, healthy hydration.

3. Let them pick their own toothbrush

Dentists recommend swapping out toothbrushes every three to four months. If your child is due for a replacement toothbrush, then try replacing it with one of their choosing! Choosing a movie-themed or character-themed brush will make oral hygiene much more fun and exciting.  

4. Read dental-themed books

There are several children’s books available that teach kids about the importance of dental care. Look for books like “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Seuss or “Brush Your Teeth, Please” by Leslie McGuire.

5. Make dental-care crafts together

Making crafts together is a great way to teach your kids about the importance of dental care while also having tons of fun! You can try making toothbrush holders, tooth fairy boxes, or other art projects that get your little one excited about oral hygiene and pediatric dentistry.

6. Visit a pediatric dentist regularly

Building a relationship with a pediatric dentist is beneficial for both you and your child. You will feel more comfortable asking questions, and your child will feel more and more comfortable after each visit. A pediatric dentist will keep track of your child’s oral health and dental development, so they can spot or predict any oral health issues early on. 

Schedule a dental check-up today!

Ready to put your child on the road to oral health success? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Matt online here, or by calling our Overland Park children’s dental office at (913) 685-9990 today!

Dr Matt and his team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids are excited to welcome Dr Tara Craven to the Smiles Dentistry for Kids team! Dr Tara received her Doctor of Dentistry Degree at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and will complete her rigorous 2-year training program in Pediatric Dentistry at Children’s Mercy Hospital this June. During her training Dr. Tara received numerous awards and was part of the Pediatric Dental Honors Program where she cared for pediatric patients with special needs and those requiring advanced care. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, families can always expect to be seen by a Board Certified Pediatric Dentist.

We are confident that Dr. Tara will provide the highest quality care and attention that our families have grown to expect and appreciate at Smiles Dentistry for Kids. Dr. Craven will begin seeing patients in August, 2023. To help our patients get to know her better we asked Dr. Tara a few questions:

Why did you choose to specialize in Pediatric Dentistry?
Pediatric dentistry is my dream job and an incredible avenue that allows me to connect with kids and families. Children not only bring excitement to the field of dentistry, they bring magic, hope and adventure. I feel honored to get the opportunity to not only provide education and knowledge about dentistry but to empower kids to enjoy brushing their teeth and coming to the dentist.

What are you looking forward to most as you start caring for families at Smiles Dentistry for Kids?
I am so excited to be able to serve this community and build relationships with kids and their families. I am passionate about providing a positive dental experience for kids that will last a lifetime.

Anything else you would like our families to know about you?
Outside of pediatric dentistry, I love spending time outdoors with my husband and Labrador, traveling to new places and spending time with friends and family.

Little child flashes their baby teeth with a bright smile

Cavities, or tooth decay, can occur in baby teeth as soon as they start coming in. In fact, cavities are one of the most common childhood diseases. So, it is important to take steps to prevent them with a trusted children’s dentist in Overland Park, KS.

Are you noticing yellow, brown, or white spots on your child’s teeth? If so, then it may be the first sign that a cavity is forming. Bite back and stop cavities in their tracks with Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids. Simply call our pediatric dental office in Overland Park, KS, at (913) 685-9990 to get started!

Baby teeth (also called milk or primary teeth) are crucial for your child’s oral and developmental health. Indeed, primary teeth help kiddos learn how to speak and chew while maintaining space for their permanent teeth to come in. Here are some tips on how to fight cavities on baby teeth.

Start Dental Visits Early

The American Dental Association recommends that children see a dentist by their first birthday or within six months of the first tooth appearing. Regular dental check-ups can help catch cavities early and prevent them from getting worse.

Early dental visits also ensure that your child picks up healthy oral hygiene habits early in their development. Not only that, but it demonstrates to your little one that dentists are friendly, gentle, and can be trusted. This can help reduce dental anxiety (as well as cavities!) as they continue to grow.

Brush At Least Twice a Day

The moment your baby’s first tooth appears, it’s time to start brushing twice a day. Use a small amount of fluoride-containing toothpaste and a soft-bristled brush

You can use a smear of toothpaste for children under age three, and a pea-sized amount for children ages three to six. Be sure to brush all surfaces of the teeth, including the fronts, backs, and tops.

Floss Every Day

As soon as two teeth touch each other, it’s time to start flossing at least once every day.

Flossing helps remove food particles and plaque from between the teeth where a toothbrush can’t reach. Use a soft floss or floss pick and gently guide it between the teeth.

Limit Sugar

Kids love sugar! But so do cavity-causing bacteria. So, it is wise to limit the amount of sugar your little one ingests.

For healthier baby teeth, we recommend giving your kiddo:

  • Fruit or fruit-based snacks (like fruit leather)
  • Vegetables (the roughage is great for gently scraping plaque from teeth!)
  • Water instead of juices

Don’t Put Baby to Bed With a Bottle

Prolonged exposure to sugary liquids (like formula, juice, or milk) can lead to tooth decay. If your baby needs a bottle to fall asleep, fill it with water instead.

Lead by Example

Our kids are watching our every move. So, if they see you conducting daily oral hygiene, then they will learn the importance of oral health and hygiene early

You can encourage better oral hygiene by making brushing and flossing more fun with:

  • Music 
  • Games
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Yummy toothpaste flavors
  • Small rewards

Schedule a Dental Check-up for Baby Teeth

When it comes to fighting cavities on baby teeth, prevention is key. So, don’t wait – schedule a routine dental check-up for your child with Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids today! Parents can reach our Overland Park pediatric dentist at (913) 685-9990 or online here for scheduling.

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.


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 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.

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