UMKC School of Dentistry Provides Free Pediatric Dental Exams

Helping children under 3 receive a healthy start
Pediatric clinic at the School of Dentistry

Taking care of children’s teeth and gums right from the start is a vital part of overall health, so the UMKC School of Dentistry offers a free examination for children under 3 years of age. 

The school also for years has participated in Children’s Dental Health Month, an educational effort every February by the American Dental Association.

“We offer the free initial exams year-round in our pediatric clinic,” said Brenda Bohaty, D.D.S., chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. “That exam is recommended by the time a child is 12 months old, or when the first tooth starts appearing.”

The UMKC pediatric clinic gives young patients a bright, welcoming atmosphere and top-notch care supervised by Bohaty and other faculty. And it gives students important experiences that they will need as they train to become general dentists.

“We emphasize the importance of the age 1 visit in training all of our students,” Bohaty said. “The benefits of dental health for overall health can’t be overemphasized.”

Tooth decay is the most prevalent disease of childhood, occurring four times as frequently as asthma, but in almost all cases is preventable. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, in the recent second edition of its State of Little Teeth Report, notes that children’s tooth decay is down in the past four years, but nearly half of children ages 6 to 11 and more than half of children ages 12 to 19 in the U.S. still are affected by tooth decay. And among older children, the decay affects permanent teeth.

Besides starting checkups by age 1, the academy recommends having a parent or other caregiver brush with a child for at least two minutes twice a day, limiting sugary drinks and snacks and paying attention to toothaches at any age.

“We want every child to have a healthy start,” Bohaty said, “and we hope parents take advantage of our free initial checkups for children under 3.”

Call 816-235-2145 for an appointment in the pediatric clinic


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