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Knee-to-knee at the first appointment

At most pediatric dental offices, we take care of our littlest patients with what’s called a knee-to-knee exam. With this technique, we’re able to examine your child’s mouth while they remain seated comfortably in your lap.

We start out with the caregiver seated in a chair with your kiddo seated in your lap facing you. Then your dentist will sit in a chair across from you — hence the phrase “knee-to-knee.” When your child is comfortable and ready, your dentist will help them lie back until their head rests in the doctor’s lap.

This technique gives us a great view of the inside of your child’s mouth, while allowing them to see mom or dad and hold their hands. Generally, this approach helps to keep kids calm during their exam and reduces the caregiver’s anxiety as well.

Knee-to-knee examinations not only make your first visits to the pediatric dentist more comfortable, they help to build trust between your child and the dentist and make future visits less scary.

The exam itself may be quick since your child may not have many teeth. But we take our time with parents at these early appointments to explain the growth and development process, as well as tips on caring for and preventing cavities in your child’s teeth.


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1611 J street Springfield, OR


Dr. Erin Estep is a board-certified pediatric dentist who owns Treehouse Kids Dentist in Springfield. She and her staff are committed to making sure your child has an amazing, safe, memorable dental experience.


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