The Dental Center of South Bend (Dentistry and Braces for Children and Teenagers)
1005 East LaSalle Avenue, South Bend, IN 46617

FAQs

When should my child first see a dentist?

According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, a child should have its first dental check-up by age one. Although there may be a few teeth erupting, studies have shown that preventative measures to reduce decay, baby bottle rot and other developmental issues can be detected early and corrected. It’s never too early for an adorable smile!

How often do I take my child for his/her dental check-up?

AAPD recommendations are that a child has a dental check-up twice a year. Some cases of tooth decay, unusual growth development or poor hygiene may require additional visits, but the doctor will review each case individually and create a proper schedule.

My child has perfect teeth, why should I take him/her to the dentist?

Many children can have decay and serious oral health conditions with few obvious symptoms. Often times it isn’t until the doctor has thoroughly examined the child, and sometimes reviewed x-rays, that these conditions are detected. Early intervention is key to the growth and development of permanent teeth and healthy gums. Dental cleanings also ensure that the prettiest of little smiles stay that way.

What can I expect at our first visit?

Expect to arrive a little early to complete necessary medical and health forms. Insurance and payment information will be required so remember to bring all insurance cards along. Most of these forms can be found on our website to download, complete and bring with you for your visit. At this first appointment, the doctor will give a thorough exam of your child’s mouth, looking for decay, potential issues with gums and jaw. If necessary, the doctor will take a few minor x-rays but only if they detect an underlying issue. For older children, the first visit can include a cleaning and fluoride treatment. Parents are encouraged to speak to the doctor and staff and ask any questions.

Are x-rays safe and does my child need them?

Most pediatric dental patients have had an x-ray by age five or six. They can prove useful when detecting serious issues such as baby bottle rot, severe decay or growth and development issues. The amount of radiation transmitted in a dental x-ray is extremely low. With modern high-speed digital technology and proper shielding, we take every step to ensure each child has a minimal radiation exposure.

What are sealants?

Sealants are a thin coat of protection added to the chewing surfaces of the teeth. They protect the grooves and areas of the teeth where decay is most likely to set in and cause a cavity. It is safe, painless and fast. Your child will even be able to eat right after the appointment. Because sealants are so successful at preventing cavities, most insurance companies now provide coverage for them. When applied well, sealants can last your child many years.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a compound of fluorine, a natural element that can help prevent tooth decay and cavities. Although in the U.S. many water supplies contain fluoride, it is still considered as an additional supplement on a case-by-case basis. The dentist will review the child’s history, current oral health and determine the best course of action. Children can also benefit from fluoride in toothpaste and certain mouthwashes, and always be sure to use a product that contains the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The dental hygienist and the dentist were fabulous with my 4 year old. So calm and patient. She had a great experience.
Natalia M.
Caring , fun and goofy doctors . Experience overall was great
Andrea G.
Great caring staff
Jackson S.
Just an excellent place
Alexis F.
Staff were very knowledgeable and came to aid in a reasonable amount of time.
Noah S.
Everyone was so kind and sweet to my kids. It was a breath of fresh air.
Izabella T.
Nice service. And great job
Juliette C.
Helpful and quick to respond to patients needs.
Lael M.
The office staff had lots of experience working with young patients and did an excellent job interacting and caring for our son who had an emergency dental situation.
Cameron P.
Great compassionate care. The hygienist and doctor worked so good with my little ones first dental visit.
King G.
Everyone is always friendly and appt time starts on time.
Zoe A.
Felt like the dentist listened to me and concerns. Didn’t feel rushed
Khale L.
We were in and out and the staff was Wonderful.
Sophia V.
My kids love going to this dentist! I appreciate how patient they are with my children and everyone is very nice. I am very happy with Smile Safari!
Lee W.
Very polite staff made me feel welcome
Valeria G.
You guys were awesome and made my four year old feel at home. She went back and got two fillings without me and didn’t even get upset. The staff is amazing and so considerate.
Estellise B.
The staff was wonderful with my son, who has Autism. They didn’t push him and found ways to do an exam that didn’t frighten him.
Elijah V.
Everyone was wonderful, kind and very understanding!
Evan F.
Staff always so kind and explains everything with details step by step of they are going or did to my child
Daniel A.
I like the service i get from the place it is wonderful keep it going
Bella U.
Office Hours
Mon. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Tue. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Wed. – 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
Thu. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Fri. – 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
Sat. – Closed
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (574) 367-7146
Fax: (574) 245-7502
Healthcare Financing with
CareCredit
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

No Insurance? No Worries! See our discounts and offers here

For appointments, call us at: (574) 367-7146 or
Request an Appointment
For appointments, call: (574) 367-7146
Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM - 3:30 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Friday 7:30 AM - 3:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (574) 367-7146
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