Getting to Know Your Child’s Pediatric Dentist: Dr. Reimer
You want a pediatric dentist who loves what they do.
We all want the best for our children, so it’s natural to want to pick the best pediatric dentist in Omaha to take care of your child’s oral health. A truly great dentist needs to have the skill and experience to care for your child, but they also need to be compassionate, trustworthy, and patient. When they have these qualities, a pediatric dentist is more likely to be able to help your child feel comfortable and relaxed throughout their appointment, making the experience easier and less stressful for both you and your child.
As your child grows up, building these good experiences at the dentist can help them avoid the dental anxiety that many people experience well into adulthood. While it’s vital that your child trusts their dentist, it’s also important for you to get to know and build a level of trust with their dentist. After all, you need to trust them to give your child the best possible dental care. With this in mind, we asked Dr. Reimer a ton of questions that will help you get to know him better!
Choosing to Become a Pediatric Dentist
Finding a pediatric dentist who is passionate about their job and loves working with kids is essential. Here’s a little information on how Dr. Reimer decided he wanted to become a dentist, why he chose pediatric dentistry as his specialty, and why he loves it so much.
Q: At first glance, looking into someone’s mouth might seem like an odd profession. What first inspired you to become a dentist?
“It was definitely not the idea of looking into people’s mouths! I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but as I shadowed dentists I really enjoyed that you see most of your patients twice a year instead of just once or not at all at the doctor’s office. I love building relationships with patients and their families.”
Q: What first inspired you to choose the field of pediatric dentistry?
“I’m an oldest brother, so I always took pride in helping my younger siblings as they grew up. I also loved coaching sports as a baseball coach during my college years when I wasn’t playing myself. Those characteristics, along with a passion for preventive dentistry and growth and development, drove me to pediatric dentistry. Plus it’s great having Disney movies or Spongebob on during the day!”
Q: What do you love most about being a pediatric dentist? What is your favorite part of the job and why?
“The energy. Pediatric dentist offices are higher paced, have lots of laughing, and usually a Disney movie in the background. I love that environment and I love that I get to work with a team every day. Our assistants and front office staff make the job fun and easy to serve our patients.”
Q: What is your favorite part of being a dentist for kids and why?
“I love kids because they are usually so happy and enthusiastic. Getting to watch a family grow is wonderful. They come to see us with healthy teeth and it’s my job to help those teeth stay that way and have fun with the kids while we do that.”
Relating to Patients
A great dentist works hard to build a trusting, friendly relationship with young patients and their parents. The way that they interact with and relate to their patients says a lot about a dentist. It can also have a lifelong impact on the way kids grow up to view dentistry. Here’s how Dr. Reimer handles different aspects of working with young patients.
Q: What is your guiding philosophy in caring for and treating your pediatric patients?
“My guiding philosophy is prevention. Let’s do the things that prevent oral disease instead of having to focus on doing fillings or caps. This starts right when a child gets teeth and starts eating solid foods all the way to when they become young adults!”
Q: How do you handle patients who have dental anxiety or phobia of the dentist?
“I definitely understand that lots of people have anxiety or fear of the dentist. Being a dental patient puts you in a perceived vulnerable situation. As a pediatric dentist I want parents to know that we have multiple choices to best suit the need of their child. It is a ladder that includes the simplest intervention like watching TV during an appointment, using nitrous oxide, or even using general anesthesia. We don’t just treat teeth here, we want to treat the whole patient and that includes helping them overcome anxiety and fear so they feel safe at the dentist.”
Q: Patients often feel sheepish when talking with their dentist about making cosmetic changes. How do you feel when a patient asks you about cosmetic dentistry? What tips do you have for helping them start the conversation?
“I love it. In pediatric dentistry, we focus on prevention, but cosmetics are a part of that! Whether it is asking about options of types of crowns for teeth whitening of teeth, or orthodontics, I love talking with patients and parents about it.”
Practicing as a Pediatric Dentist
The aspects of dental treatment that a dentist prioritizes can also say a lot about them. Here’s a little more detail about Dr. Reimer’s professional opinions and experiences as well as how he handles different situations at work.
Q: You must see teeth, gums, and mouths in all sorts of conditions. What do you really think when a patient presents with untreated tooth decay, gum disease, cosmetic imperfections, or other types of damage?
“I feel sad truthfully, especially in cases where the child is in pain as a result. However, it is a wonderful opportunity to help patients and parents learn about dental disease and the tools we have to fight it (i.e. toothbrush, fluoride, xylitol gum, diet counseling).”
Q: What do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions about dentists, pediatric dentists, or the industry in general?
“I think the misconception that the dentist hurts is a big one. Also that dentists want to find things wrong when you go. My perfect day would be doing a ton of check-ups on children with NO CAVITIES! Being a pediatric dentist is wonderful because we have a great chance to focus on prevention.”
Q: What has been your favorite advancement in the field since first starting?
“It isn’t necessarily a brand-new advancement, but the technology of all-white crowns for front teeth is amazing. We can make front teeth cavities look amazing by placing white crowns. I’m starting to do some in the back now, too!”
Q: What is the most memorable case you’ve ever treated?
“In residency, I had an OR case that required treatment of every tooth. It was very rewarding to complete a tough case like that and know that I helped stabilize a child’s mouth that was full of caries.”
Advice to Parents
Home care is a vital part of preventing oral health issues like cavities and gum disease. As a result, it’s important for pediatric dentists to be willing and able to communicate with parents effectively and to offer great advice. Here’s a taste of the advice that Dr. Reimer offers to parents to help at-home care and dental appointments go more smoothly.
Q: What are one or two things you wish all of your parents and/or kids knew about dentistry and oral health?
“I want all to know that the earlier healthy habits are established, the better. Eating healthy, avoiding sugary drinks like juice, and brushing teeth with fluoride toothpaste are so important. Home care is crucial!”
Q: Many parents will put off dental visits for their kids just to avoid receiving a lecture on their dental parenting. What would you say to a parent who feels guilty and hopeless that they have “ruined” their kid’s teeth from avoiding treatment for so long?
“I would say that we are a team and that placing blame is a waste of time. What can we do to get back on the healthy path? And what can we control going forward at home to find the healthy path? My aim is to have two-way communication with families so they feel a part of making a healthy plan, not just being told to do this or that.”
Q: Do you have advice for what parents can do to help put their children at ease before and during their visit?
“As far as advice for pre-appointment things parents can do, I am a big fan of positive reinforcement. Talking about how to open big and smile is great, but equally important is telling a little one that going will be fun. The dentist will count your teeth and brush your teeth and it will be fun! Then we always end with a prize here at PDS. Positive encouragement goes a long way. I also recommend not talking about bad words like ‘shots,’ ‘pain,’ ‘drill,’ ‘pull your tooth,’ etc. Older kids can handle it, but we have good ways of distracting young ones from scarier parts of appointments so that they are comfortable.”
Q: What problematic dental trends and gimmicks do you see in mainstream society today and why are they harmful or dangerous?
“Avoiding fluoride toothpaste and application at the dentist is a big one. Fluoride comes from a natural element and the doses we use are studied and shown to be safe. As a pediatric dentist, fluoride is something we go over all the time, and the anti-cavity benefits are great!”
Q: What is one piece of dental-related advice you often give to parents and their children?
“When getting done brushing teeth at night we should spit out the toothpaste, but not rinse with water. This way the fluoride from the toothpaste can work on the teeth while we sleep.”
Getting to Know Dr. Reimer
Finding a professional, knowledgeable pediatric dentist is incredibly important for your child’s long-term care, but you also want to find a pediatric dentist who knows how to have a little fun! Here are the answers to a couple of more personal questions so you can get a better idea of the kind of person that Dr. Reimer is—both on and off the job!
Q: What is one of the most interesting things you have learned recently?
“It’s not dentistry-related, but I listened to a Malcom Gladwell podcast about the Air Force bombing strategies in WWII. Really interesting and makes me glad I wasn’t a pilot at that time.”
Q: The tooth fairy is granting you one wish to make any magical-powered dental tool you can dream of, what would it be?
“A magic wand that gets rid of cavities! That would be great if we could only have to worry about keeping teeth clean and developing straight and pretty teeth.”
It’s important to find a great pediatric dentist who genuinely loves working with kids and who will prioritize communicating with you and treating you like part of the team dedicated to keeping your child healthy. A great dentist can make all the difference in your child’s short- and long-term oral health. When both you and your child trust their dentist, appointments tend to go much more smoothly. If you’re looking for a pediatric dentist, feel free to call our Omaha dentist office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Reimer at any time!