When Southern Dental Associates added a pediatric specialty practice to their already successful pair of offices in Lewisville and Wilkesboro, they knew they were reaching out to a patient group that truly needs tender loving care when it comes to their teeth!
Dr. Chad Shobe arrived last year to join the Advance office of Southern Dental after spending five years in general dentistry, with additional training to specialize in pediatric care. He saw an intense need to concentrate on children and their very different level of care, in hopes of promoting early intervention into better dental care for life. Plus, as he says, working with children is the most fun you can have at work!
With a focus on infants through teenagers, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that children should be seen by a dentist by their first birthday, or upon the arrival of their first tooth. With this dedicated practice in place, Southern Dental hopes to conquer one of the biggest obstacles in pediatric treatment: fear of dental visits.
“Many people are fearful of the dentist, and those attitudes usually stem from a bad experience during childhood,” explains Dr. Shobe. “It’s very rewarding to be able to provide reasonable experiences for my patients, so they do not have fears later in life.”
Enjoying a friend-like rapport with your dentist can go a long way to eliminating fear of dental visits, both as a young child and later as an adult. The earlier your little ones become accustomed to visiting a dentist’s office and become familiar with regular procedures—especially new noises and sensations—the more comfortable they will also be in case of emergencies. Children tend to experience a high rate of accidents to the mouth area, and having to undergo dental care in a traumatic situation with someone who is a stranger can only add to your child’s fear. “It’s important to communicate to children that they are in a safe environment,” says Dr. Shobe. “When kids feel safe and comfortable, they do well for most procedures.”
Pediatric dentists are trained to take a different approach to calming children and reasoning with them, often succeeding where parents do not. That can bring enormous peace of mind for parents as well—with the added benefit of a pediatric dentist knowing just the right tactics to encourage daily brushing and flossing. If thumb-sucking or nightly teeth grinding are already emerging as issues, a pediatric specialist is well-versed in the best strategy to stop those bad habits.
Young children also require unique treatments, such as fluoride application and sealants that are designed to keep teeth cavity-free. The care of your child’s baby teeth is also crucial as problems, such as early decay, can lead to bigger issues later when the permanent teeth arrive. Baby teeth lost too soon can also be a recipe for future orthodontic troubles and even abnormal jaw development.
Having a healthy relationship with a regular dentist in place, your teenager will also feel comfortable and confident when it’s time to have wisdom teeth extracted. At an already difficult age, teenage dental care and orthodontics can be an emotional ride—that‘s the beauty of a history with your family’s pediatric dentist, who also steps in as a friend to ease those transitions.
Visit Southern Dental Associates’ pediatric office at 135 Medical Drive in Advance or call 336-998-KIDS (5437) for an appointment. They are also located at 6570 Shallowford Road in Lewisville, 336-945-5555, with general dentistry and pediatric services, as well as endodontic specialists, and at 1690 River Street in Wilkesboro for general dentistry and pediatric services. In Wilkesboro, call 336-903-1234 for pediatrics and 336-838-9400 for general dentistry. Check out their website at southerndentalnc.com.