Pediatric dentistry is not just about smaller chairs and a fun waiting room. At Just for Kids, all three of the dentists are specially trained in dentistry for children from birth to teen. The office is cozy and friendly. There are two hygienist chairs and two dentist chairs, which in addition to the equipment and tools are all smaller than adult sized ones found at typical dentist offices.
Stephen Mills, DDS, Michael McCoy, DMD and Kristin Lawson, DDS are the three dentists who see patients in Windham and at the Just for Kids in Scarborough. Just for Kids in Windham is the second office.
Being a pediatric dentist requires extra schooling. Dentists finish their schooling and then do a year and half of pediatric residency. There they learn everything there is to know about taking care of teeth, said hygienist Sherry Laliberte.
“The doctors have experience working with kids, and how to handle difficult behaviors,” said Laliberte. “We get what we need to get done in a fun, playful way,” she said.
Just for Kids offers a variety of services, x-rays, cleanings, sealants, mouth guards, fluoride and orthodontics. Dr. Mills has had extra training to be able to provide braces for his patients. The office has a special lab for making retainers and mouth guards and offers stainless steel crowns, composite fillings, and all of the doctors have operating room privileges. Dr. Mills started the office and brought in the other two dentists. Dr. Mills and Dr. McCoy are Diplomates of American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.
Dr. Lawson said her favorite part of pediatric dentistry is “the kids.” Then added with a chuckle, “That, and watching Frozen 25 times per day.” Each room has a television mounted above the chair and the patients are invited to bring their favorite movie with them.
Children should be seen by a dentist by their first birthday, said Lawson. The dentist checks for proper growth and the visit helps to acclimate the child to regular visits.
The office practices conscious sedation and use oral medication for those patients who have special needs or are very anxious about visiting the dentist.
Mills specializes in sports dentistry and provides mouth guards for college teams to give back to his community.
Just for Kids and Laliberte have been going into area preschools talking about dental health and giving out goodie bags, flyers and have started to plan fieldtrips to the dental office for the spring. Laliberte said that the hygienists do a lot of nutritional counseling when it comes to healthy teeth. “We teach them how to brush and floss,” she said. They also talk about which drinks and food are bad for teeth. “We do everything a general dentist does, in a fun, kid-friendly manner.” Children and adults should see the dentist every six months and should be brushing twice a day and flossing once a day.
Loretta Mills is the office manager for both locations. There is always a dentist on call after hours and on the weekends.
The Windham office of Just for Kids is open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and are closed on Fridays. It accepts all insurances and is the only MaineCare pediatric dental provider in the area. Just for Kids is accepting new patients. For more on the practice and the employees of Just for Kids, visit www.justforkidspediatricdentistry.com.
Daphne Capponi, 2 ½ , plays while waiting for her turn to see the dentist at Just for Kids.