Start them young. That’s the message that Board Certified Pediatric Dentist Dr. Christopher Bob wants to bring to South Florida parents when it comes to dental visits. In fact, the South Miami-based pediatric dentist quotes American Dentistry Association guidelines as establishing a dental home for your child beginning at 12 months old.
“The main thing is start educating parents on healthy habits at an early age,” says Dr. Bob. “It’s setting the right expectations, as well the rapport that you set up with the child so that they get to know their dentist and feel comfortable.” To that end the office places a strong focus on prevention, working with both parents and patients to create good dental habits that will last a lifetime, whether that means avoiding sugary juices or teaching younger patients how to floss correctly. “I don’t want kids to come in here with 15 cavities,” says the doctor. “I want them to know what to expect.”
Dr. Bob’s Top Tips
Need a quick course in dental health? Try these tips…
- Toss the juice. “Avoid it at all costs,” says the doctor, citing the amount of sugar. “Organic, watered-down, even the ones that say they’re without sugar… it’s still sugar.”
- Add some fluoride. “Most parents don’t know that the guidelines have changed,” says Dr. Bob, advising parents to start using fluoride toothpaste as soon as a tooth appears.
- Watch your measurements. Aim for a squeeze of toothpaste the size of a grain of rice for kids under three says Dr. Bob, and try to establish a nighttime brushing routine. “And definitely avoid giving a bottle after brushing,” he says. “Brushing should be the last thing they do before bed.”
To ease the transition into dental care, Dr. Bob says thought has been put into each step of the visit, from TVs and iPads in the waiting area to a caring and well-trained staff who takes the time to explain each step to patients. “Everything is kept light, entertaining, warm and relaxed,” says Dr. Bob, a father himself of one-year old Sebastian with wife Melissa. “My staff truly goes above and beyond.” And not just for the kids. As a boutique practice, Dr. Bob prides himself on taking his time with each patient and their parents as well as being available for the not-so-rare child dental emergency, adhering to his office motto: The Exceptional Care Your Child Deserves. “I’m available 24/7,” he says, noting he also offers Saturday hours. “I have an answering service trained to immediately patch calls through. You have a direct line to me.”
Starting early is a familiar sentiment for Dr. Bob, who found his calling within dentistry in his early teens and ran with it. “I had an opportunity through my high school’s Executive Internship program to leave school early and I found an amazing mentor to open his practice to me,” he says. Staying “dedicated and focused,” Dr. Bob went on to study at Florida State University undergrad followed by dental school at the University of Kentucky, before returning to Florida for a residency at Miami Children’s Hospital where he stayed on as an attending doctor and instructor before moving into full-time private practice three years ago.
Today, he pays back his own experience as a teenager by inviting aspiring dental students to shadow him at work and puts his teaching experience to good use, giving presentations to both parents and children at various local schools and organizations. “Education is the number one thing in my book,” he says.
The office for Dr. Bob Pediatric Dentist is located at 7711 SW 62nd Ave. Suite 101 in South Miami, FL. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call 305-397-8214. You can also visit drbobsouthmiami.com.