a healthy place for growing smiles

Cute African Girl During Dental Treatment At Modern Clinic

What to Expect at Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

From your initial appointment request (via phone or online) to the moment you walk through our doors and all the way through your child’s first dental appointment, you’ll be greeted with kindness and equity, every step of the way.

We know dental visits can cause anxiety, especially for our favorite little people. At Jenkins Dentistry for Kids, we take every opportunity to help your child relax and have a pleasant dental experience at each visit. Our waiting area and individual patient rooms have been designed with children at the forefront, and parents love the ease and flexibility of our digitized system for insurance, payments, and health forms.

Planning Your First Dental Appointment:

We have two convenient pediatric dental offices in Johnson County, Kansas:

  • Original office: 6810 Silverheel Street, Shawnee, KS 66226
  • New location: 8700 Bourgade Ave., Lenexa, KS 66219

Our dazzling dentists rotate between both our locations, so if you have a preference on a location and/or a doctor, you can have your cake and eat it, too! (Just make sure to brush your teeth afterwards).

Click here to schedule your appointment.

Prior to Your Visit

Once your first dental appointment is scheduled, we’ll send you a confirmation email and a link to a secure site to fill out and submit your patient forms online. This will include current and previous health history, insurance, and other related information.
Completing these forms ahead of time online means less stress for you while wrangling your kiddo in the waiting room! Speaking of which – let’s talk about that next.

As You Wait In the Lobby…

In both our Shawnee and Lenexa locations, you’ll be welcomed into a large, sectioned waiting area designed for families like yours! This isn’t your typical doctors’ office, and it’s definitely not the DMV!

From the furniture layout to the color scheme, and everything in between, we’ve handcrafted our entire office with your child’s best interests in mind.

Our aim is to provide a comfortable and convenient space for your child to acclimate to the dental environment prior to their visit. Our lobby area offers:

  • A large, family-size bathroom in the front entry.
  • Several TVs with various family-friendly movies playing at all times. (Don’t worry, we keep the volume low to minimize audio chaos).
  • Toys and games to entertain your child.
  • Ample floor space to spread out and practice crawling, toddling, etc.
  • Coffee bar for parents! Hello, caffeine! (We have water, too!)

During Your Child’s First Dental Appointment

Everything we do is tailored to you and your kiddo. We keep in mind your child’s emotional needs as well as their physical size and abilities, especially when it’s their first dental appointment ever.

As pediatric dental professionals – and as parents ourselves – we know first-hand that babies and toddlers cannot simply be told what to do, especially in unfamiliar environments with strange, new people.

However, since the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommend babies visit the dentist at either the eruption of their first tooth or by their first birthday, we know workarounds are necessary, especially for little tikes.

If Your Child Is Two or Younger:

Prior to even peering into your child’s mouth, your dentist will walk through questions pertaining to nutrition, pacifier use or thumbsucking, and any concerns you may have.

We know that babies and small children get very nervous and extra clingy in unfamiliar settings. Therefore, at Jenkins Dentistry for Kids, we encourage parents to allow their child to stay in the comfort and safety of their caregiver’s lap for the duration of the visit!

We do this through what we call a knee-to-knee exam or a lap-exam. First, your dentist will sit directly across from you with your knees touching. Then, you’ll lay your child such that their bottom and legs are in your lap, and their head is resting on the dentist’s knees. You’ll want to hold your child’s hands to offer emotional support, but also as gentle constraint as well.

From there, your dentist will inspect your child’s mouth, examine and count their teeth, assess the formation of their arch and their mouth in general. With your permission, we’ll also brush your child’s teeth with a smear of fluoride toothpaste.

This part of the exam – the actual “exam” part – while very important, is quite quick. Fear not, even the feistiest of kiddos can be distracted long enough for this necessary inspection!

If Your Child Is Three or Older:

For the older kiddos, we have a comfortable, child-friendly dental chair for their exam, and a TV to engage them and keep their spirits up! It’s like First Class air travel, minus the flying (and the champagne).

When explaining procedures, we don’t just dive in. We include you and your child throughout the process, and we use child-friendly lingo to help them understand.

For example, we’re not doing a “tooth extraction”. That sounds scary! No, we’re just “doing a wiggle”! It’s not a shot, it’s “sleepy juice”. We’re not doing a “filling”, we’re cleaning out “sugar bugs” with the help of “Mr. Whistle”, aka the drill!

Almost sounds fun, right? Yes, that’s our intention!

In conjunction with the actual examination portion of the visit, your child’s dentist will walk through all facets of dental health verbally, answering questions pertaining to nutrition, preventative care, and any concerns you may have.

Keep in mind, we serve families with kids from infancy all the way through their teen years! Learn more about our mission and philosophy by clicking here.

Wrapping Up Your Visit

Once the exam is complete, your dentist will go over important health, safety, and nutrition reminders, and will answer any questions you may have concerning your child’s healthy smile.

You’ll have a chance to schedule your next appointment, approximately six months from the current date, and your child will go home with a goodie bag complete with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and maybe some fun items, too!

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

Here at Jenkins Dentistry for Kids, we believe that joy, abundance, and authentic connection are the foundation for an amazing patient experience, and those components are especially important at a child’s first dental appointment. This belief extends into all facets of our practice, from administrative services to dental health education, treatment, and beyond.

We strive to give high-quality dental care that’s friendly, thorough, and efficient, but we want the experience to be pleasantly memorable, too! Check out what others are saying about our Shawnee and Lenexa practices, and schedule your visit today!

Make an Appointment

We are always excited to welcome new patients! Please contact us at 913.745.2500 to create an appointment at our pediatric dental office in Shawnee. 

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