A Lifetime of Healthy Teeth Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry
Written by Rebecca Fischer / Photos by Jami Marshall
Your kids would probably disagree, but the Tooth Fairy isn’t the most important thing about their teeth.
People are beginning to realize kids need good dental care—often at a younger age than most parents think.
With the word getting out that even very young children benefit from seeing a dentist, business has been booming at Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children.
The group of eight pediatric dentists and eight hygienists, as well as a full staff of office and marketing auxiliary team members and administrators, has offered Kansas City-area families pediatric dentistry services since 2005. They now have five office locations.
“The doctors travel from location to location, because continuity of care is very important when building relationships with our patients,” says Megan Roach, marketing director. “These initial relationships are important for a lifetime of good dental experiences, and we don’t want parents to have to drive far to get that level of care.”
Pediatric dentists receive advanced training from a specialized two-year-long residency program. In accordance with the American Dental Association’s recommendations, Jenkins & LeBlanc’s board-certified pediatric dentists recommend the first tooth, first visit tenet to set the foundation for good oral health.
Roach says this initial visit is important for building your child’s comfort and trust, as well as for just getting used to someone looking in their mouth and seeing the types of tools used to clean teeth. It also allows the team to recognize any problems if they do exist and monitor growth development.
Jenkins & LeBlanc works to educate parents in multiple ways, including at the office visit, online on their well-organized website and blog, and on their social media pages. Their website offers a plethora of patient information as well as dental health information, a blog, reviews, and more.
Perhaps all the education is paying off. A government study released last year showed fewer U.S. kids are getting cavities. Research showed that in 2015-2016, approximately 43 percent of children ages 2 to 19 had cavities. This was down from 50 percent only five years earlier.
Here are a few facts that are important to remember.
• Baby teeth are important to your child’s health and development. They help your child chew, speak, and smile. They also hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth growing under the gums. When a baby tooth is lost too early, the permanent teeth can drift into the empty space and make it difficult for other adult teeth to find room when they come in. This can make teeth crooked or crowded. That’s why starting infants off with good oral care can help protect their teeth for decades.
• After the first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday, a dental visit is important. Besides checking for cavities and other problems, the dentist can show you how to clean the child’s teeth properly and how to handle habits like thumb sucking.
• One necessary life skill every child needs to learn is brushing their teeth. Helping your child get in the habit of brushing twice daily for two minutes can ensure the development of a lifetime of good oral hygiene.
Upon entering any of Jenkins & LeBlanc’s locations, you and your child are greeted by games and movies in the waiting room, bright colors, books, and friendly, smiling faces. The dental chairs and tools are smaller to accommodate children’s comfort and each equipped with a stuffed animal used to demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques with each patient.
“It’s pretty obvious, but we all really love kids,” says Dr. Jill Jenkins. “We want them to feel welcome—to walk in and think, ‘Yes, this is a place for me!’ It’s about comfort and confidence. We want to do whatever it takes to bring comfortable dental care to our patients. Our staff goes above and beyond every day to bring a smile to every child’s face.”
This strategy is working. Some kids show up anxious or crying, but calm down once they’re through the doors and greeted by the kid-friendly atmosphere. “They handle my kiddos’ anxieties about going to the dentist so well,” says patient mom Chasady Lynn Cooper. “I highly recommend them.”
Jenkins & LeBlanc also specializes in treating children with special needs, including autism and ADHD. “We get a lot of referrals for apprehensive or anxious children. Another provider might not even be able to look in the child’s mouth before coming to our office,” says Roach. “We love hearing from those parents that their child had a wonderful experience with us and is even looking forward to coming back! That means we’ve done our job.”
Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children • kidsmilekc.com
Kansas City Office / 8919 Parallel Pkwy., Suite 460, Kansas City, KS • 913.299.3300
Olathe / 15151 South Blackbob Rd., Olathe, KS • 913.764.5600
Overland Park / 14420 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS • 913.387.3500
Prairie Village / 8226 Mission Rd., Prairie Village, KS • 913.378.9610
Shawnee / 6810 Silverheel St., Shawnee, KS • 913.745.2500