PebblePath Pediatric Dentistry
Who Said Going to the Dentist Can’t Be Fun?
It’s hard for a lot of parents to imagine their kids can love going to the dentist. For heaven’s sake, most of us never did. But dentistry has advanced by leaps and bounds. And thanks to pioneering pediatric dentists like Karrie Lee, pediatric dentistry has advanced even further. Parents tell her all the time how their little one looks forward to their next dentist appointment—even asking when they can go again.
Meet Karrie Lee, DMD
Karrie Lee—or Dr. Karrie, as she’s known to her young patients—has lived across the map: from Gainesville, Florida, where she received her undergraduate degree, to Philadelphia where she earned her dental degree at University of Pennsylvania, and finally to Los Angeles, where she trained for two years in pediatric dentistry at University of Southern California. She made her way to Texas and joined the team at Stonebridge Dental establishing a pediatric arm of the practice, PebblePath Pediatric Dentistry. Now, long-time Stonebridge patients are happy to have their kids’ dental needs met in the same well-established “dental home” with the latest technology and know-how, but in a way that helps young children relax and enjoy their time in the dental chair.
“I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and also considered optometry and podiatry,” she said. “During my search, I spoke to a lot of female doctors about finding a work/family balance and realized dentistry would allow me to have a medical career and still have the time I wanted with my kids. Fortunately for me, I also discovered I love the work.”
And fortunately for the parents of her patients, Dr. Karrie understands the day-to-day realities of being a parent. Take flossing for instance.
“With three boys of my own, I understand what it’s like being a mom, just doing your best every day,” she said. “So, I try to give dental recommendations that are reasonable and attainable. For a little child who’s never flossed, for instance, I recommend the parent try setting aside the same two nights out of the week—every Wednesday and Saturday, for example—to make ‘floss nights.’ This is achievable rather than telling the parent to floss their child’s teeth every night, from the get-go. Then at every checkup we can build from that starting point.”
Dr. Karrie says parents should remember they are their child’s first and best role model. “Our children take their cues from us about what’s important,” she said. “That includes oral hygiene. I recommend that parents brush their teeth alongside their children. It doesn’t have to be every night but let them see you brush your teeth—that it’s a priority to you. Find ways to make it fun, like making up little toothbrushing songs as you go.”
Taking Dentistry into the Future
It was Karrie’s natural rapport with kids that led her to put in the extra time to become a board-certified pediatric dentist. “I feel like I can have a positive impact on the next generation by teaching proper prevention and maintenance,” she said. “And there’s just nothing more rewarding than seeing a child come to me fearful of the dentist and leave with those fears relieved. If this generation has no dental anxiety, that will mean fewer fearful adults in the future.” And because of her easy rapport with kids, she’s often able to put them at ease so that sedation is unnecessary.
For Dr. Karrie, it all begins with slowing down and building trust with her young patients. “I start seeing them as young as one,” she said. “Those appointments have a lot to do with parent education, dispelling old wives’ tales, and teaching about the importance of proper maintenance of baby teeth. We have a great opportunity to raise up a generation with better oral hygiene habits than we had—a chance to see an entire generation who doesn’t even know what a cavity is.”
When not on the job, Dr. Lee treasures her time spent with her husband and three sons playing board games or walking to the park for fresh air. She also enjoys watching HGTV and Food Network, hoping some of that creative energy will rub off. Stonebridge Dental and PebblePath Pediatric Dentistry are now accepting new patients.
6633 West Eldorado Parkway, Suite 100
McKinney, Texas 75070