According to Dr. David Rider, the key to pediatric dentistry is taking care of the parents, not the children.

“Pediatric dentistry is training the parents—not so much the children—about what to do, how to do, what to expect, how to plan [and] what’s going to happen at certain ages. It really is giving the parents all the information you could possibly get while they’re holding their baby at 1 year of age,” says Rider. “Pediatric dentistry is providing dentistry to parents first, kids second.”

Because many people say that they had horrible, or even traumatizing, visits to the dentist as children, Rider says that his goal—and the goal of associate Dr. Kelty McLaurin, who joined the practice about two years ago—is to give kids today a positive experience.

“The practice philosophy is to focus on the kids, make them happy [and] prevention of cavities—so much prevention can be possible. [We want to] make the experience just as great for the families as possible,” says McLaurin.

The practice, located at 1809 Alexandria Pike in Highland Heights, sees patients from ages 1 to 25. As Rider says, “We don’t send them away.”

Part of the reason that patients keep coming back may be Rider’s approach to dental work.

“Some people do more dentistry than what I think is indicated. Or some people really push the kids over the top to where they’re going to get this done no matter what. We’re really kind and gentle and we try to find alternative methods for dealing with children so we don’t ruin them, so they don’t become the parent that we’ve talked about before,” says Rider.

McLaurin says she approaches patients in the same way. “As a new mom, I try to treat every kid exactly like how I would treat my own kid. I don’t want to do anything that I wouldn’t do for my son. I just try to treat each one of the precious kids that is in here just like our own,” she says.

Rider and McLaurin’s commitment to this has led not just to returning patients, but also to parents who were once patients bringing in their children.

“We have parents that are here now that were my patients. That’s the ultimate compliment,” Rider says. “We did what we were supposed to do to get them back here. I think that that’s the gauge for our success is how many people can we get. There’s never a day here where we don’t have a parent that was a patient at some point in this career. I love that.”

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