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Judging by the name alone, baby teeth seem like they should be flawless. After all, they’re fresh, new, and haven’t been exposed to a lifetime of food, drinks, and opportunities for damage. So when you notice stains on your little one’s teeth, it can come as a shock. What causes stains on baby teeth anyway? Some children have stained teeth for the same reason that many adults do – diet and hygiene. But other factors can contribute to children’s dental staining. 

If you notice discoloration of your child’s baby teeth, it’s important to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist. He or she can determine which treatments are necessary to prevent further staining. At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven are committed to protecting little smiles in Overland Park, KS, and the surrounding areas. 

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your child. 

Oral Hygiene

Many parents don’t realize that they should begin brushing their children’s teeth as soon as they appear! Twice daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush is one of the best ways to prevent discoloration. You should also start flossing as soon as your child has two touching teeth. 

Dental visits are also essential as soon as that first tooth comes in. In fact, these visits are so vital that we are proud to offer free exams and cleanings to all children under age 2

Fluorosis

Fluoride is important for tooth development. But if your child is exposed to too much fluoride at a young age, it can cause white streaks to appear on the teeth. Fortunately, fluorosis is typically mild and does not affect tooth function. 

To avoid this condition, do not mix infant formula with fluoride-enhanced water. And be sure to check the fluoride levels where you live. Levels of less than 2 mg/l are unlikely to cause fluorosis. 

Certain Medications 

Some antibiotics, especially tetracycline, can cause brown, gray, or yellow dental stains. If your child is over age 8, these medications will have no adverse effects. However, if you took one of these medications while pregnant or nursing, your child’s teeth could be impacted. 

Weak Enamel

Enamel hypoplasia is a genetic condition that causes thin or weak tooth enamel. It can affect baby teeth only, or it could also affect the permanent teeth. With compromised enamel, your child is more susceptible to discoloration and decay. That is why it is especially important to be vigilant about hygiene and dental visits. Your dentist may recommend additional treatments to further protect your child’s teeth. 

Jaundice

If your child is born with jaundice, excess bilirubin can build up in the dental tissue, giving them a green hue. Fortunately, this effect is extremely rare and will only impact the baby teeth.

Tooth Injury 

An injured tooth could turn gray or even black. This is because a fall or blow to the tooth can damage blood vessels, causing blood to leak out inside the tooth. In some cases, children may require restorative care, such as a root canal. Fortunately, the permanent tooth will likely come in normally. 

Schedule an Appointment with a Pediatric Dentist 

If you notice staining on your child’s teeth, don’t wait to schedule an appointment. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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If you’re parenting littles, you may assume that orthodontia is a problem you need to face far into the future. In reality, early intervention orthodontia is becoming more common and can have enormous benefits both for health and for self-esteem. Even when children still have some of their baby teeth, they can begin phase 1 treatment. Your pediatric dentist can perform an orthodontic evaluation to determine if your child may need two-phase orthodontia. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven are experts on children and their dental health. They know the signs that indicate the need for early care and can refer you to a trusted orthodontist. At the same time, they truly have your child’s best interests at heart and will never recommend unnecessary treatment

To schedule your evaluation, contact your pediatric dentist today.

When should my child have an orthodontic evaluation?

The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that children have their first orthodontic evaluation at about age 7. At this age, a pediatric dentist can detect larger issues with the face and jawbone structure. Early intervention can often reduce the severity of misalignment and shorten overall treatment time. 

At the same time, if you notice some orthodontic issues or just suspect that something is wrong, you can schedule an evaluation before this time

Who is a candidate for early orthodontia?

Your pediatric dentist may recommend two-phase orthodontics if your child has a problem with face or jawbone development. These problems can include more serious concerns, such as a cleft palate. But they can also include subtler issues that only a dentist can detect. 

If your child suffers from any of the following problems, he or she may be a candidate for early orthodontics:

  • Crossbite
  • Underbite
  • Teeth that don’t meet or don’t align properly when a child bites down
  • Excessive spaces between teeth 
  • Facial imbalance 
  • Missing or extra teeth 

What happens during Phase 1?

Occasionally, phase 1 treatment can involve a limited use of braces. More often, however, an orthodontist will recommend other orthodontic appliances to correct skeletal, rather than dental, issues. These appliances could include:

  • Expanders
  • Retainers
  • Spacers
  • Headgear (typically worn only at night)

What happens during Phase 2?

Phase 2 treatment will usually take place during the pre-teen or teen years, once your child has most of their permanent teeth. Phase 2 focuses more on the teeth themselves, rather than the jawbone. At this point, your pediatric dentist will most likely recommend braces. These can include traditional braces, as well as tooth-colored braces and clear aligners.

However, according to one study, phase 2 treatment may not be necessary after early intervention. Researchers at the University of the Pacific report that 42% of patients who received phase 1 treatment did not require additional care. For those who do require treatment, they often have to wear braces for a much shorter time than those who did not receive early attention.

Schedule an Appointment with Your Pediatric Dentist Today

To schedule your child’s orthodontic evaluation, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids.

Reach us online or call (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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As children grow, their curiosity about the world around them also grows, especially when it comes to their own bodies. A common question that often arises is, “How many teeth do I have?” Many parents struggle to answer these types of questions, which is why Dr. Matt Hillman is here to help!

Does your little one have a question about their dental health? Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, today! We can help you explain complex topics in easy-to-understand terms so your child can learn more about their teeth and gums. Contact our friendly team at (913) 685-9990 to answer your kiddo’s most intriguing questions!

Explaining dental health to children in an engaging and informative way can foster a positive attitude towards oral hygiene. So, whether it’s, “How many teeth do I have?” or, “Do I really have to go to the dentist,” we answer some commonly asked questions that children have about their teeth, gums, and dental health.

How many teeth do I have?

This is a great question! As a child, you start with no teeth at all, but by the time you turn one, you may have around eight baby teeth

As you grow, your baby teeth fall out, and by your early teenage years, you should have a full set of 32 teeth. This includes incisors for biting, canines for tearing, premolars for grinding, and molars for chewing. 

The wisdom teeth (also known as third molars) typically make their debut in your teens or early twenties.

Why do I have to brush my teeth every day?

Brushing your teeth is like giving them a good bath! It helps remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause cavities and gum disease

By brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, you’re keeping your teeth clean and strong. It’s also a great way to prevent bad breath and ensure your smile stays bright.

What’s the big deal about flossing?

Flossing is like a superhero for your teeth! While brushing cleans the surfaces of your teeth, flossing gets into the tight spaces between them, where your toothbrush can’t reach.

Floss removes plaque and prevents cavities from forming in those hard-to-reach areas. So, by brushing and flossing together, you’re giving your teeth the ultimate protection against pesky cavities.

Do I really have to go to the dentist?

Absolutely! Dentists are like guardians for your teeth and gums. They have special tools and knowledge to make sure your teeth stay healthy.

Dentists can clean your teeth better than you can at home, and they can spot any potential problems before they become big issues. Going to the dentist is an essential part of keeping your smile in tip-top shape. That’s why experts recommend dental visits at least two times a year, every year for a healthy and strong smile.

Why do I get cavities even if I brush my teeth?

Cavities happen when tiny holes form in your teeth because of bacteria and sugar. Even if you brush, sometimes those tricky bacteria hide in the corners. Luckily, flossing and eating healthy foods can limit cavity-causing bacteria, giving you a healthier, more beautiful smile!

Have questions? Dr. Matt has answers!

By answering children’s dental questions in a way that’s relatable and fun, parents can instill good dental habits that will last a lifetime. So, the next time your little one asks, “How many teeth do I have?”, don’t hesitate to reach out to Dr. Matt at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS. You can reach our friendly team online or at (913) 685-9990 for more answers to your kiddo’s questions!

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
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As the year draws to a close, we often find ourselves caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday preparations. But, amidst the festivities, there is one essential aspect of childcare that we shouldn’t put off until the New Year – a visit to a pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS.

Scheduling a dental appointment for your child before the New Year is a proactive step that can contribute to their overall well-being. So, this year, give your child the gift of healthy teeth and gums with our pediatric dentist, Dr. Matt Hillman, in Overland Park. Request an appointment for your little one at Smiles Dentistry for Kids by dialing (913) 685-9990 now! 

In today’s post, we explore the compelling reasons why parents should prioritize a dental check-up for their children before 2024.

Preventive Care for a Healthy Smile

By taking your child to a pediatric dentist before the New Year, you ensure that any potential dental issues are addressed promptly. Early detection of cavities, gum problems, or orthodontic issues allows for timely intervention. This means you can prevent costly problems, and your little one can spread cheer well into the next year!

Utilizing Dental Benefits Before Year-End

Many dental insurance plans operate on a calendar year basis, resetting benefits at the start of a new year. However, there is evidence to suggest that many insured parents don’t utilize all of their yearly benefits because they simply don’t know what is covered and what isn’t

As a general rule of thumb, insurance providers cover yearly preventive maintenance, so be sure to get the most out of your plan before ringing in 2024.

By scheduling a dental visit before December 31st, you can maximize the use of your dental insurance benefits while enhancing your child’s oral health.

Establishing Healthy Habits for the Future

Regular dental check-ups set the stage for a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits. Dentists can offer guidance on effective brushing and flossing techniques, dietary choices that promote dental health, and the overall maintenance of a healthy smile.

Ease of Scheduling

Sometimes, our busy schedules can make it hard to visit a pediatric dentist. But the holiday season often coincides with a break from school for children. This break can make it easier to visit a pediatric dentistry clinic, making it the perfect time to get a check-up, cleaning, and address other concerns, such as:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Improper nutrition
  • The need for orthodontic assessments 

Scheduling an appointment with our pediatric dentist is the best way to ensure your child returns to school in 2024 with a healthy and confident smile.

Preventing Emergency Situations

Dental emergencies can happen at any time. But the holiday season, with its abundance of sugary treats and festive foods, can pose additional risks for dental issues

Scheduling a pediatric dentistry visit before 2024 allows our team to identify and address any potential problems before they escalate into painful emergencies. Prevention and early intervention can spare your child unnecessary discomfort and ensure a happy and healthy holiday season.

Pediatric Dentistry in Overland Park, KS

Prioritizing a dental visit for your child before the New Year is a proactive step that contributes to their overall well-being. By taking this small yet significant step, we can set the stage for a New Year filled with bright smiles, good oral health, and confidence that shines from the inside out. Schedule your child’s next pediatric dental appointment online here, or call Dr. Matt at (913) 685-9990 for year-end care!

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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It seems like orthodontic care is almost a rite of passage in the adolescent years. But can orthodontia be avoided? What causes crooked teeth in the first place? As it turns out, the answer is more complex than you might expect. And while you can reduce your child’s risk for dental misalignment, there are some risk factors that are simply out of your control. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven treat babies, teens, and everyone in between! By beginning dental care at a young age, we can sometimes prevent dental misalignment from occurring. And in those unavoidable cases, early detection can often reduce the severity of crooked teeth and shorten treatment time

To schedule an exam for your child, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids today.

Genetics

Unfortunately, if you have struggled with dental misalignment your child is more likely to have crooked teeth, too. Genetics can affect jaw and tooth size, jaw alignment, palate development, and many other factors. 

Jaw Size

With a smaller jaw, there is not enough room for all adult teeth, and crowding may occur. Scientists believe that our ancient ancestors had much larger jaws. But as food became softer and more refined, humans evolved to have smaller jaws. As a result, dental crowding is a common problem. 

Oral Habits

Thumb sucking, prolonged pacifier use, and long-term bottle feeding can all contribute to dental misalignment. To help protect your child’s smile, wean them from pacifiers and bottles around their first birthday. Thumb sucking is less problematic until permanent teeth start to erupt, but you should still discuss this habit with your child’s dentist. 

Poor Diet and Oral Hygiene 

Premature baby tooth loss may not seem like a major problem, but it can have far-reaching consequences for dental health. When baby teeth come out early, the nearby teeth can drift into the gap. In this way, they get in the way of the permanent teeth so there’s not enough room for them to erupt normally. A balanced diet and regular dental cleanings can protect those important baby teeth.

Why are crooked teeth a problem?

Cosmetics are the most obvious effect of missing teeth. But malocclusion can have far more serious consequences. Crowded and overlapping teeth can greatly increase the risk of decay, since food and bacteria will be more easily trapped in the tight spaces. Severe misalignment can also cause speech impediments. 

What are the treatment options?

The right treatment will depend on your child’s age and the severity of misalignment. Some children benefit from early orthodontic intervention, such as palatal expanders, which will create more room for adult teeth. Though these kids will typically need braces at a later date, treatment time is usually much shorter. 

Dr. Matt and Dr. Craven evaluate dental alignment at every routine exam. Then they can refer your child to a trusted orthodontist for appropriate care. They can also provide tips to improve oral health and reduce the risk of malocclusion.

Contact a Pediatric Dentist Today

To make an appointment for your child, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. 

Reach us online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Has your normally happy baby been screaming all day and refusing to be out of your sight? There’s a good chance she’s teething! Cutting teeth is no joke, and it can cause a whole host of symptoms. Your pediatric dentist can tell you what to expect, what’s normal, and what’s not. And he can also share the best – and safest! – ways to reduce teething pain.

As pediatric dentists, Dr. Matt and Dr. Tara love working with kids. And as a dad, Dr. Matt is all too familiar with the drama, tears, and rough nights that come with teething. That’s why he and the team at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, are here to help! We’re always here to answer questions and, of course, to provide quality dental care once those teeth have come in.

Contact us for questions about your child’s teething symptoms. 

When can you expect teething to start?

Did you know that your child is already born with all 20 baby teeth formed beneath the gums? Typically, these teeth will start to erupt between the ages of 6 and 12 months. However, many babies start teething earlier, and some may get their first pearly whites after their first birthday. Nonetheless, if your child hasn’t started teething by the time he turns one, it’s best to see a pediatric dentist for an evaluation. 

The bottom two front teeth are usually the first to come in. Teeth will continue to erupt until your child gets his second molars around the time he turns two.

Normal Teething Symptoms

Teething can manifest itself in many different ways. The most common symptoms include:

  • Low-grade fever (less than 100.4 degrees F)
  • Drooling
  • Excessive chewing and biting
  • Facial rash, due to drool
  • Pulling on ears
  • Fussiness and irritability 
  • Unusual waking in the night
  • Loss of appetite

Keep in mind, however, that just as children get their teeth on their own timeline, they experience symptoms in their own way. In one of the few large-scale teething studies, only 35% of children experienced the same symptoms.

Effective Ways to Help Your Child

Of course, it hurts you to see your child in pain. Fortunately, there are several effective ways that you can reduce teething discomfort. 

  • Gently massaging your baby’s gums 
  • Offering a safe, rubber teether. Try placing it in the freezer for extra relief. Avoid frozen, water-filled teethers and anything made from brittle plastic. Only use items that are intended to be teethers.
  • For children who are already enjoying solids, offer an edible teether or large teething cracker

Do not use numbing benzocaine. The FDA has warned that benzocaine can lead to a life-threatening blood disorder in children under age 2.

Once your child has gotten her first tooth, you should schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist no more than six months later. Your dentist will monitor your child’s dental development and offer guidance on good oral hygiene. 

Contact a Pediatric Dentist Today

For more information about teething or to schedule an appointment with a pediatric dentist, contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids. 

Make an appointment online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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Fluoride has been a subject of debate for many years. Concerned parents often raise questions about its safety and efficacy. Luckily, Dr. Matt is here to help demystify this pediatric dentistry mystery.

If your little one is prone to cavities, then fluoride treatments at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, can help. Contact our friendly, fun, and compassionate team today at (913) 685-9990 to learn more!

As with any medical treatment, there are always risks and benefits to consider. In today’s blog, we explore the importance of fluoride in promoting oral and overall health in children while addressing possible risks and benefits.

The Benefits of Fluoride

When it comes to your child’s smile, the benefits of fluoride cannot be overstated. Let’s explore what this wonderful mineral can do for developing smiles!

Stronger Teeth

Tooth enamel is like a shield for our teeth. It helps protect our smile from the acids produced by oral bacteria. But weak or thinning enamel can lead to serious problems, like dental decay

Fluoride helps fortify enamel, making teeth more resistant to acid-producing oral bacteria. As a result, regular fluoride treatments help prevent cavities.

Promote Healthy Childhood Development

Children with poor oral health are more likely to experience pain, difficulty eating, and impaired speech development. Dental issues can also lead to systemic infections and negatively impact a child’s overall growth and development.

Fluoride prevents these issues by strengthening teeth and preventing an overgrowth of harmful oral bacteria in the mouth. In fact, some research suggests that fluoride in drinking water, toothpaste, and dental treatments may have a dual effect:

  • The fluoride minerals bind to teeth, thereby strengthening them
  • The fluoride minerals damage bacterial cell membranes, thereby keeping oral bacteria at bay

Possible Risks

There are very few downsides to fluoride treatments for children. However, some possible risks do exist, such as:

Dental Fluorosis

Excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development can lead to dental fluorosis, a cosmetic issue that causes white or brown discoloration of the enamel. However, dental fluorosis is generally mild and primarily an aesthetic concern.

Overconsumption

Excessive consumption of fluoride, whether through toothpaste ingestion or drinking water with high natural fluoride levels, can lead to health issues like skeletal fluorosis. However, these cases are extremely rare and typically occur in regions with naturally elevated fluoride levels in the water.

The Importance of Fluoride for Children’s Health

Our pediatric dentist in Overland Park, KS, recommends fluoride treatments for children as soon as they start sprouting teeth. Here’s why:

Early Prevention

Fluoride plays a pivotal role in preventive dentistry by strengthening tooth enamel and reducing the risk of cavities. Early oral health habits established in childhood often persist into adulthood, making it crucial to start dental care early.

Cost-Effective

Treating cavities and related complications can be expensive and time-consuming. By investing in fluoride-based preventive measures, parents and caregivers can save both money and their children’s dental health.

Overall Health

Oral health is interconnected with overall health. That means that poor oral hygiene in childhood can have far-reaching consequences well into adulthood. 

Fluoride fosters the delicate connection between oral and overall health by controlling cavity-causing bacteria and strengthening children’s teeth and bones.

Schedule a Fluoride Treatment for Your Little One Today

Fluoride is a valuable tool in promoting children’s oral and overall health. While there are some potential risks, they are minimal when fluoride exposure is monitored and controlled. 

As parents and caregivers, it is our responsibility to ensure that children receive the benefits of fluoride through appropriate dental care. So, be sure to schedule regular check-ups and fluoride treatments at Smiles Dentistry for Kids in Overland Park, KS, to keep your kiddo’s smile happy and healthy! Schedule an appointment online, or dial (913) 685-9990 for more.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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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.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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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.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm
8:00am - 4:30pm

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If you have been told that your child needs tooth extraction, it can be a bit alarming – both for you and for your child. Fortunately, knowing what to expect can make the whole process easier and help you prepare your child for treatment. 

At Smiles Dentistry for Kids, we take our responsibility to children and their parents seriously. We want to make every treatment, whether it is a routine cleaning or a dental extraction, as easy and stress-free as possible. Dr. Matt and the team at our Overland Park, KS, office will answer all your questions. And, of course, we will perform a gentle procedure with minimal discomfort and recovery time

Contact us today to learn more about tooth extraction or to schedule an evaluation for your child. 

When is tooth extraction necessary?

There are several reasons that extraction may be required:

  • Cavities are the most common reason for pediatric tooth removal. According to one study, tooth decay accounts for half of all extractions in patients between the ages of 3 and 13. That being said, extraction is a last resort. If your child has a cavity, Dr. Matt will first try to treat it with a filling or other restorative procedure.
  • Dental trauma, such as a broken or cracked tooth, may necessitate extraction. Here, too, tooth removal is a last resort.
  • If your child has severely crowded teeth, extraction could create space in their mouth. This will allow for proper dental development. 
  • Most people need to have their wisdom teeth removed. Oral surgeons and dentists typically recommend doing it at a younger age before the teeth erupt. This will help to prevent problems such as impaction and overcrowding.

What’s the difference between a standard and a surgical extraction?

During a standard extraction, Dr. Matt will simply loosen the tooth roots before removing the tooth from the mouth. A surgical extraction requires the removal of some gum or jawbone tissue. These procedures are usually necessary for impacted teeth.

Will tooth removal hurt?

Prior to the procedure, Dr. Matt will numb your child’s tooth and gums. He or she should experience no pain, at most feeling only a mild sense of pressure. We can also provide nitrous oxide sedation if your child is anxious.

What can my child eat afterwards?

Your child will need to eat a soft diet for several days. It’s a good time to treat your little one to all the milkshakes, smoothies, and ice cream they want! Of course, good nutrition is important for healing, so make sure they are getting plenty of protein and vitamins. Avoid very hot foods and drinking from straws for a few days, as this can irritate the extraction site. 

Contact Smiles Dentistry for Kids Today

To learn more about what to expect during tooth extraction or to find out if this treatment is necessary for your child, contact our Overland Park, KS, office today. 

Reach out online or call us at (913) 685-9990.

Smiles Dentistry For Kids

14700 Metcalf Ave, Suite 110
Overland Park, KS 66223
(913) 685-9990
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