Family dentistry encompasses a wide range of professional dental services, from caring for the youngest patients to addressing the oral health of senior adults. Southern Dental Associates has dental professionals who can fill your family’s dental needs at three convenient locations: in Lewisville, Wilkesboro and Advance, NC. The most recent addition to Southern Dental Associates is the pediatric office in Advance, NC, caring for the younger members of your family. Pediatric dentist Dr. Chad Shobe recently joined Drs. Liner, Browder, Ward, Kinlaw and Farber of Southern Dental Associates to head up the pediatric location for the practice in Advance, NC. Dr. Shobe, a native of Gilbert, Arizona, practiced general dentistry five years before completing two additional years of training in the treatment of children, including those with complex medical issues and special needs. “I saw many children as a general dentist who had huge needs. Many of those cases were so complex I had no idea where to start. I realized that there is a huge need for pediatric dental specialists and that’s why I returned to school, and I am so glad I did! I feel like we are making a difference,” said Dr. Shobe. Dr. Shobe and his team at Southern Dental Associates have a love of children and an understanding that early intervention with a child’s dental care is the key to having a healthy smile and a positive perspective on going to the dentist.
Keeping Your Smile Beautiful for a Lifetime
Our smiles are so much more than just an important aesthetic attribute. “Baby teeth in particular are critical to the overall growth and development of children. The most common chronic childhood disease is dental caries, or cavities,” Dr. Shobe commented. And for Dr. Shobe, the frustrating part is that in most cases it is preventable.
Decay in baby teeth, or early childhood caries, as it is formally known, can lead to pain and infection which can directly affect developing permanent teeth. Early loss of baby teeth due to cavities can lead to shifting, causing significant orthodontic problems. Establishing a dental home early for your child is an important step in avoiding these issues. Maintaining your child’s dental health at a young age will provide health benefits into adulthood. “The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that parents choose their child’s dentist when their first tooth erupts, or by their first birthday, whichever comes first,” stated Dr. Shobe. Although this may sound early, a lot can be determined during the first visits to the dentist. Primary teeth serve as a guide of sorts for the permanent teeth to come, helping the adult teeth to take their proper place. The initial first visits may be just introductory to acquaint your child with the dentist and the practice, but don’t discount the importance of a child building trust with his or her dentist, should they need treatment later for any problem that may arise.
“Early dental visits allow parents to receive important information about the overall oral health of their child. We discuss tips for preventing cavities, as well as any habits that could lead to orthodontic needs in the future. Small children are prone to bumps and bruises, in particular around their teeth. It is important to establish a dentist in case of unforeseen emergencies,” Dr. Shobe said.
A Healthy Attitude Begins Early
Alleviating fear of dental treatments can make a difference in whether a child grows into an adult with fear, leading to not going to the dentist at all. There are many of us who have a fear of going to the dentist, usually due to a painful treatment or to the sounds we associated with the dentist. Often our first visit to the dentist was at a time when we had a toothache, also setting us up for a negative perception of going to the dentist; thus, we associate pain and discomfort with the dentist. “Consistent visits from an early age allow children to become comfortable in the dental setting, which can help them develop a healthy attitude toward the dentist that can last a lifetime. Being a father of five, myself, I know how anxiety-producing a dental visit can be for a child and parents. Our office is designed with the comfort of the entire family in mind. From TVs to toys and video games, everyone will feel at home,” stated Dr. Shobe. Pediatric Dentistry not only focuses on preventive care, but also on dental issues specific to growing children, including sealant and fluoride treatments, interceptive orthodontics, trauma treatment and habit management. Regular, routine check-ups enforce positive feelings, ensuring they will have no fear in later life. Dr. Shobe himself recalls having a negative experience at the dentist, which inspires him to make sure his patients have a positive visit from beginning to end. From the moment children and their parents walk through the door, Dr. Shobe and his team strive to make visits fun by having a comfortable and friendly atmosphere.
“As a child, I had some bad experiences at the dentist. There were times when I didn’t feel like I was treated like a human being. We understand that fear of the unknown is normal, and that through patience, kindness and education, those feelings can be overcome. When our patients and parents feel like they are in a safe environment, anxiety disappears. Kids are smart, and when they feel safe, they relax,” Dr. Shobe said. Introducing children to the importance of daily oral hygiene, including diet, proper and regular brushing, as well as flossing every day, helps a child get into a routine and understand why taking care of the teeth is important; such behavior is modeled by parents.
Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk
We all learn by example and sometimes that example can be a bad one, where we also learn from that, so showing your kids that you take care of your teeth can lead them to an understanding of taking care of theirs. It is recommended that as soon as the first primary teeth erupt in your child’s mouth, you begin brushing his or her teeth. Once your child begins brushing his or her own teeth, it is still important to go back and re-brush the hard-to-clean areas. Making oral hygiene a family habit can also help in keeping that healthy smile for a lifetime.
The first visit and subsequent ones for your child to the dentist can either make them enjoy it and have a good experience, or set them up for a fear of dentists. Dr. Shobe and his team strive every day to treat their patients and parents with care and respect in a comfortable, family- and kid-friendly environment. “It is our mission for our patients to have an extraordinary visit and leave with a smile each and every time,” commented Dr. Shobe.
The pediatric office of Southern Dental Associates is at 135 Medical Drive, Advance, NC. 336-998-KIDS (5437). Southern Dental Associates’ two other locations are: 6570 Shallowford Rd., Lewisville, NC, 336-945-5555 and 1690 River Street, Wilkesboro, NC, 336-903-1234 (Pediatric); 336-838-9400 (General Dentistry). For more information, visit www.southerndentalnc.com.