One day I noticed some suspicious spots on my daughter’s teeth. I was fearing they were cavities and I knew I had to take her to the dentist. I’ve had bad experiences with dentists in the past and the only dentist I knew and trusted was back in my home country of Costa Rica.
My daughter had gone there a few times but I knew I had to find a dentist in DC since this is where we live. Those possible cavities prompted me to ask my trusted friends where they take their kids. Several of them recommended Dr. Mark McClure at NIHA (National Integrated Health Associates).
I booked an appointment and hoped for the best. During the appointment we discovered my kid had indeed cavities and we would have to book 3 appointments in order to remove them. I’m not going to lie, I was scared. She was about to turn 4 and understood what we were doing but I have always heard horror stories of dentists and kids.
I asked the Dr. McClure about the procedure because I didn’t want her to go under anesthesia. He confirmed they wouldn’t treat her cavities this way and so we booked the 3 appointments.
I want to tell you all about our experience with Dr. McClure because I know taking kids to a dentist is a big fear for most parents. Plus it was really hard to find information on the right dentist for us in the DC area so I figured other parents would find this useful.
I absolutely love this practice and now my entire family goes there. Keep on reading to find out what to expect and why you should go there, especially if you have kids.
For our first appointment I was terrified. What if my daughter freaked out? We needed to get those cavities out. I went and hoped for the best.
She had to get a shot of anesthesia and Dr. McClure had warned me not to tell her she was going to get a shot so she wouldn’t get scared. She laid down on the chair and the dentist along with his assistant told her they would wiggle her mouth to put her teeth to sleep.
They wiggled her mouth and put the a little bit of the anesthesia and about a minute later, when the area was numb, they wiggled her mouth to put the rest of it. My daughter didn’t even twitch and found the whole wiggling thing hilarious. I was so relieved!
Dr. McClure proceeded to show her and tell her what he would do by using funny names and expressions. He worked on my kid’s cavities while my kid laughed through most of it. I was so happy we found him because we still had 2 more appointments to go to.
The second appointment went great and once again Dr.McClure surprised me by his amazing gift with kids. We laughed through the entire appointment and my kid left happy.
For our third appointment my daughter didn’t want to be seen that day but everyone was so nice about it. They told us we all have bad days and to come back another time. So we rescheduled the appointment for another day. When we came back she wanted me to sit on the chair so she could sit on top of me. Dr. McClure was completely fine with this and that’s how he treated her last cavity.
I love that they are so accommodating to kids and that they do their best to make this a fun experience for them. My 4 year old daughter talks about the whole experience as a fun one and is not scared of the dentist. That to me, makes it worth every penny.
We are now cavity free and happy to have found a practice practice that focuses on holistic and biological dentistry and one that loves kids.
What I loved about NIHA and why you will be happy to go there:
- The entire staff is so friendly – everyone takes their time to talk to my kid and makes us feel so welcomed. They were also very understand of the fact that I have 2 kids and let me bring my baby to the appointment.
- The kids get cool gifts after each appointment – my daughter picked a ballon, a ring and another little toy after each appointment. She even got a xylitol lollipop (because xylitol helps prevents cavities)! Let’s face it, this is a big plus for the kids.
- They are all about making the appointment fun and not instilling fear in kids. This is what I loved the most because I don’t want my kid to be scared of the dentist. I can’t tell you how many times Dr. McClure made us laugh throughout the appointments. He’s seriously the best dentist I’ve ever met.
- They use the safest materials on your teeth. Their dental materials are non-toxic and bio-compatible.
- They don’t recommend the use of fluoride. Fluoride has been shown to have negative effects and I really wanted to find a practice that wouldn’t use fluoride on my kids. I was so relieved to find it! They will give you plenty of information on this during your first appointment.
- They are mercury-free practice with a specialized water purification system to protect you and the environment.
- Their goal is to preserve your teeth. This sounds like an obvious thing but unfortunately I’ve had experiences of dentists not doing this.
- They don’t accept insurance, however they will file it for you so you don’t have to handle all that paperwork. You can also opt to get the procedures financed.
- They see people of all ages, from kids to adults. This is why now everyone in my family goes there.
- Parking is validated so don’t forget to ask for validation before you leave.
- They offer Saturday appointments.
- Learn about their dental services here.
- Learn about Dr. Mark McClure here.
- NIHA offers all sorts of health services and although I have not tried them, the patients I’ve met in the waiting room all love going there so check out what else they have to offer.
So if you’re a parent looking for a practice you can trust, I definitively recommend NIHA. I am honestly so relieved I found them and that my daughter actually loves going there. I cannot recommend them enough!
Hopefully you found this useful and it eases your worries. Finding a good dentist for your kids is stressful enough!
Let me know if you have any questions.