Swimming with the Fishes at Scuba Smiles

Alamo City Moms is thrilled to partner with Scuba Smiles Pediatric Dentistry to give you information on their services and upcoming Teddy Bear Dental Clinic on Saturday, October 14th.

I just had the best time with my kids. At the dentist. Yes, you read that right. 

Don’t get me wrong—I still mostly hate going to the dentist myself. But if I got to play video games, watch fish in an aquarium, stare at a gigantic whale while my teeth were getting cleaned, AND get a prize for being a good patient, maybe I wouldn’t hate it as much.

First, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that Scuba Smiles is an Alamo City Moms Blog sponsor. But everything in this article is my own opinion and observations. When the call went out for someone to brave the dentist with their kiddo,  it was an easy assignment to accept, since we were already patients. The Scuba Smiles office shares a parking lot with our daycare, so we’ve been going there since the kiddos were three. To give you some idea of how my children feel about their dentist, when I told them that I was picking them up from school for a dentist appointment, my daughter literally jumped for joy and screamed, “YAY!! I get a new toothbrush!!”

What you notice first is that the whole office is decked out like a Disney movie. Cartoon sea life greets you, and there is probably a movie playing on the TV. Kids can get creative with Crayons or play on an iPad while they wait for their reserved appointment time.

And, as my kids discovered on this visit, the staff have added green chairs that are great for bouncing on. We have always been called back within just a few minutes of arriving, which makes this mom happy. In the back, the sea creatures abound, and a giant aquarium full of actual fish provides a relaxing visual while distracting the kids for the few minutes it takes the dental assistant to get any information from me about changes or concerns.  

On this visit, we met the new doc, Lela Farmer. My son immediately pointed out how funny it was that her name was Farmer, but she was a dentist. Dr. Farmer delightedly informed him that she even has a dog named BINGO. (So guess what I have been hearing. every. single. day. since?) Dr. Farmer is a mom herself, and clearly in touch with her inner child. She found all the “princesses” in my daughter’s teeth and all the “zoo animals” in my son’s teeth. She answered all of their (million) questions, and still managed to keep moving right along checking teeth for cavities and even scraping some errant tarter off my daughter’s teeth.

During our last visits, I held the child being examined in my lap, and he/she lay back so the doctor could look at his/her teeth. This time, the kids graduated to sit in the chairs all by themselves, and they were quite proud. My son, who has been asking me about floss for weeks, finally got to see what all the fuss was about. Spoiler alert: he was not impressed. But Dr. Farmer managed to zip in with the cleaning and finished off with some “magical lego” fluoride paste. 

Then, we got to my kids’ favorite part: the GIANT toy machine. You know, the ones that are full of candy and gum and tiny toys, that cost some ridiculous number of quarters no sane person carries? That kind. Only this one has only cool toys (according to my kids) and tattoos and bracelets. Dr. Farmer gave each patient a token and let them turn the knob all by themselves. We were also cavity-free this trip, so they got to take pictures for the No Cavities Club. In addition to being a pretty cool bragging point, the office does drawings for super awesome prizes. But you’re only entered in the drawing if you’re in the No Cavities Club. It’s refreshing to see an office that promotes prevention and encourages kiddos to keep up healthy habits outside the dental office through patient education and healthy snack lists too.

Because they were such good patients, my kids will get to have X-rays on their next visit. So, of course, we had to visit the X-ray machine and ask a million some more questions. We found out their digital X-ray machine emits 90% less radiation exposure that traditional machines, something that all moms can appreciate. On our way out, we got to see their private room, which is great for babies, kids getting fillings, or any child with special needs who just needs a quieter space to have a good visit. And then we were off and back across the parking lot to school.  

I am sure fellow mamas can relate to the “unicorn” that is a doctor’s office, where appointments run on time, children are happy and cooperative, and all questions are addressed and answered. Scuba Smiles totally has the trifecta. Their office is at Lockhill Selma and Huebner, so they are easy to find. They take all major insurance plans, plus Medicaid/CHIP, and offer financing as necessary for patients who are prescribed treatment. Their schedule varies by day, so they can offer early morning appointments some days and later appointments some days. You can check out their website or their Facebook page for more information and to book an appointment.

Plus, to encourage our little ones to learn more about dental health and find comfort at routine visits, Scuba Smiles is holding a Teddy Bear Dental Clinic on Saturday, October 14th. You choose between a 9:30 A.M. or 11:00 A.M. appointment. The whole family is invited, and young children should bring their favorite stuffed animal or doll for a mock dental checkup while older siblings hang out in the vibrant, entertaining waiting room. Here, they will meet the wonderful staff at Scuba Smiles and learn more about dental health in a fun way, plus have the opportunity to ask questions and book an appointment. Tickets are necessary to attend and can be purchased here.

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