Pediatric Smiles : calming dental fears - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Pediatric Smiles : calming dental fears

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Birmingham, AL -



      Who doesn't get a little anxious about going to the dentist.
  ABC 33/40's  Linda Mays shows us how one local dentist has created a 'winning' way to calm the fears of children and their parents.

     Dr. Tabitha Gatrey explains,  "We have an area where you can build different things, so we have different kinds of blocks and things. So, kids will build airplanes, trucks and houses and all of that we also have a play kitchen so they can also cook."

  This is the place Dr. Tabitha Gatrey has dreamed of long before completing dental school in 2008... to put into practice, her passion for pediatric dentistry while interacting with children...  special needs patients as well.

 Dr. Tabitha Gatrey says, "I wanted kids to feel like they were in an open space, that they were comfortable.  That's why I wanted to use warm colors like the greens and blues and woods."
           
     An open space with walls covered with butterflies, brushing zebras,  a smiling dinosaur name 'Allie'  and few monkeys hanging around the lights.
   
   Dr. Gatrey opened pediatric smiles in Bessemer just three years ago.

      In that time, she was voted "Favorite Kids Doc" in 2011 by Birmingham area parents.
     She and her staff are known for having a special way of taking the fear out of going to the dentist and turning a child's dental visit into something fun.
 
    Gatrey says, "So we talk about a lot of different things so we allow the child to imagine what we're doing
and that right there helps with behavior because they are like oh they washed out my clown sugar bug and they had on funny socks."
 
     Six year old Logan Hammitt is here for a check-up .
    His mother says he's had a bad experience somewhere else.. before coming here.

  Ginger Hammitt is Logan's Mom.
   She says, " We went from him being upset , nervous the first time...  Now he can can't wait to come."
    
      At Pediatric Smiles they welcome the child and parents, in the exam area, and take pride in treating them like family.
 
      Hammitt says, "The staff is so friendly and just treat them like their own."
 
       With the spotlight on the child,  dental hygienist, Temeshia Poole really takes the stage in making patients feel comfortable and special.
       Even singing the "check-up" song.

   Temeshia sings to Logan. "I'm gonna check your ears, eyes. listen to your heart beat..."

     Meantime, Dr. Gatrey shows me how they use books to educate children on the importance of  dental health  
  demonstrating how to floss their teeth.   They also use Allie, the dino to demonstrate brushing your teeth.


   For Logan, it's time for brushing with a zebra.

    Now, water and suction.

     Now, Dr. Gatrey takes a look and makes an exciting discovery she's been expecting.

 
    Dr. Tabitha Gatrey says, Momma guess what we're getting some lose teeth bottom top we're excited about that too.


   That's part of what makes Dr. Tabitha Gatrey an "outstanding crown jewel in pediatric dentistry.
And even the youngest of family members have expressed their appreciation and at least five reasons Dr. Tabitha and her staff are the best.


     One more  'aaahhh' for Logan before getting what most children look forward to at the end of their dental visit... a goodie bag.

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