Program Interrupted

Hello Friends,

today’s fun adventures were interrupted by a necessity – both Sweetie and Cricket were due for their six month dental cleaning. I would not choose to spend a beautiful afternoon at the dentist, but if we have to go, you know we’re going to see Dr. Johnny Kuttab. I’ve written about his practice, Sprout Pediatric Dentistry before, so you all know how much we appreciate the office, the staff and his bedside manner, but it is so worth repeating! We actually showed up an hour early for our appointments. The staff moved the appointments “in the system” and the girls were seen immediately. I’ll be hitting up Yelp to star them up, read on.

Today was one more happy visit at Sprout. One of the oral hygienists informed me that the office celebrated it’s 2-year anniversary in May (how do I not know this?) That explains the new giant “Lite-Brite” on the wall!

Yeah, yeah, I know it has an actual brand name. The girls thought it was amazing, whatever you want to call it. And it shows that Sprout continues to explore ways to make the office great for their young patients.

As always, the girls were relaxed during their exams, from the time they sat in their chairs until we left. Of course, some of that was due to Shrek playing on the televisions above their chairs. I’m not sure the girls even knew they were getting their teeth cleaned. The only tears of the visit came when Cricket did not get the erasure prize she wanted from the coin machine. In swooped her oral hygienist with more coins until we got that doughnut. So be warned: Sprout will treat your kids with respect, they will do a great job with their dental care and they will probably spoil them a bit too.

I asked Dr. Johnny if he had any dental advice that I could share, you know, “dental tidbits”. Today he reminded me that when I look at the girls’ dental health I need to look at the big picture. Explaining that “dentist” is his job, while “Dad” is his reality, he conceded that his children sometimes miss a brushing, and they eat sugar. But he practices brushing for two minutes, twice daily, as often as possible. Dr. Johnny showed this parent-dentist balance the very first time Sweetie saw him, and it was the first aspect of his care that I appreciated. His point was that all parents, dentist parents included, need to focus on the bigger picture of good oral hygiene and not be discouraged by occasional slip-ups.

I write this after every visit post, but this is not a sponsored blog post. My girls walk out of that office all smiles, and that means everything to me. I am confident in the care they receive and the advice I collect. If you are looking for a dentist for your kids, or if you don’t love your child’s current dentist, I say check out Dr. Johnny over at Sprout Pediatric Dentistry.

Sprout Pediatric Dentistry is so cool!

To be clear, these posts are completely self-serving – I want Dr. Johnny and Sprout Pediatric Dentistry to stay open for a good, long time.

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More Summer, Less Teeth

Hello Friends,

big news here on the detour is that Sweetie has lost two of her baby teeth. Six months ago, while visiting our favorite dentist, Dr. Johnny, we learned that Sweetie’s two lower front teeth would come out soon. The magic of x-rays showed the adult teeth moving up. We monitored the teeth and celebrated when they started to wobble about three months ago. Then, last month, one of the two adult teeth broke through her gums, what her pediatrician called a “shark’s tooth” (so jealous I didn’t think of that). The second came through last week, just before our visit with Dr. Johnny, so we expected those baby teeth would come out.

Well, they did. After a thorough and otherwise uneventful check-up, Dr. Johnny offered to pull the little guys out. We had been hoping that they would just come out while Sweetie was eating (so we wouldn’t have to pull them). So yeah, we agreed it was best to have Dr. Johnny take care of it. Especially since he had a topical numbing gel and tools on hand.

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Dr. Johnny had Sweetie “help” by shaking her head back and forth while he held each tooth. They were out in seconds and she actually laughed afterward. He presented her with a very official plastic tooth fairy box for the tiny teeth. He even showed his cultural sensitivity by suggesting the Ratón (de los dientes) might be the one to come collect Sweetie’s teeth.

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Official Tooth Box

It was so easy and just like that she was chomping pizza for dinner. Big thanks to Dr. Johnny Kuttab, D.D.S (this is a link to my previous post / review of his practice),  and all of the staff at Sprout Pediatric Dentistry for their stellar pediatric dental care. Both Sweetie and the Cricket left laughing and happy. Oh, and the worried look on Sweetie’s face? That’s because I’m taking pictures while she is trying to watch the movie on the office television behind me.

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I am smiling, Dad!

Brush ’em If You Got ’em: Sprout Pediatric Dentistry

This is not a paid endorsement of the girls’ dentist, I just wanted to share our positive experience. It is not easy to find good healthcare/dental care providers, but we have. So here’s one for the Toolbox.

We first met Dr. Johnny Kuttab, D.D.S., “Dr. Johnny”, two years ago when Sweetie’s Pediatrician told us it was time for her to see a dentist. Wife found him through a Google search, and that initial appointment was in his first office at BrightSmiles Pediatric Dentistry. We were immediately sold on his bedside manner and approach to pediatric dentistry. Now he has opened a new office on the north side of Chicago called Sprout Pediatric Dentistry.

Dr. Johnny

Let’s start with the office itself. Located at 6036 N. Northwest Highway, they are easy to reach from the expressway or the side streets. This location is technically farther from our house, but the surrounding area is less dense and much easier for us to reach. The space is pleasant and calming for children and their parents. It is fresh and clean, painted in soft neutral colors throughout.

Waiting area

Waiting area

 

 

 

 

 

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So calming

 

 

The exam area uses an open plan, with seats for three children. There are couches set behind the dental chairs so parents can stay close, but out of the way. Each station has it own television so the kids can watch a movie during their exam. If your kids are like my girls, they will be too busy watching to worry. And Dr. Johnny explained that’s the point. An older school of thought kept kids more attentive to the visit, but that also brought anxiety (anyone relate to that?). The environment is designed so kids are relaxed and have an easy experience. All the staff are warm and welcoming, from the front desk to the oral hygienists. Jeanette kept Cricket calm and Lupe was great with Sweetie.

Hello cartoons

Hello cartoons

Speaking of Dr. Johnny, let’s talk credentials (before I weigh in). He is a board certified pediatric dentist, as are the two other dentists at the practice. He completed his pediatric training through the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and remains active there, teaching pediatric dental residents. His focus in the clinic is behavior management so his demeanor is calm and professional while still connecting with the children. He is a proponent of preventative care practices. That description is kind of dry, but it is meant to be factual and unbiased. Now let’s dish.

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From the first visit I found Dr. Johnny to be engaging and pleasant without being chatty. He makes it a point to speak directly to the girls, and always takes time after the visit to explain his findings to Wife and I.He has never made us feel rushed. Dr Johnny has been a dentist for about 9 years, 7 of those as a pediatric dentist. So he is young, and the new office reflects the young, fresh energy he brings to his practice. Dr. Johnny does not do unnecessary services. At her first visit Sweetie presented with healthy teeth and gums (thankfully Cricket is following the same pattern) so Dr. Johnny told us he did not feel a need to take X-Rays. He told us he would take them if we wished, if we were concerned about anything, but he did not have cause for concern. She just took her first set in December, at four years old, without a problem. So no unnecessary radiating of children here.  Another nice thing is that when he talks prevention he frames it in real life. Example: He was speaking to us about how fruit snacks are bad for kids’ teeth, but admitted that all kids eat them. So he encouraged moderation and care, acknowledging that abstinence is a tall order for the little ones. Dr. Johnny’s extensive training is much of what makes him a good dentist, but I think that his most important attribute is that he is a father. He knows what it is like to navigate life, and oral hygiene, with a pre-schooler. For me that is a big plus.

I guess I should say something less than glowing about Sprout Pediatric Dentistry and Dr. Johnny to balance this review, but there’s not much to complain about. Early on they didn’t have a changing table in the bathroom, but they were apologetic and accommodating and allowed us to use a leather couch in a back office. They have since set up a great station though, an actual changing table with supplies. So that’s handled. I have had some challenges with parking, even though they are in a strip mall. But the street parking (which is free) is just steps from the front door, so no big gripe there either. Well, I guess this post will just weigh in favor of Dr. Johnny.

Maybe it’s time for your two-year-old to see a dentist. Or maybe you are not happy with the care you receive from your current dentist. Learn more about Sprout Pediatric Dentistry on their website and decide if they are the practice for you.They serve the city and suburbs, the hours are listed on their page. I would say, “we’ll see you there,” but we don’t go back for another six months!