Interview With Rosie Pope & Caring For Your Child’s Dental Health


Interview With Rosie Pope & Caring For Your Child’s Dental Health

When my eldest boy was one, he woke up one morning with swollen gums. I, of course, freaked out, wondering why on earth his gums of all things would be swollen? Was it something he ate? Why was it showing up in his mouth of all places?

At that point, I had never been to a pediatric dentist. I searched locally and found my nearest one (open on a Saturday) in my local mall. Since it was in a mall, I was a little skeptical but I had no other choice. We got down there, waited an hour to be seen and the doctor was so nice and gentle with my boy. Turns out that he had a 24hour virus that included hives and swollen gums.

Did you know that you should be taking your kids to the dentist by age one? Taking them to the pediatric dentist as soon as they get teeth is the easiest way to prevent tooth decay in kids. Taking the kids early to the dentist can prevent so many dental problems including the need for braces. As parents we are so good about taking the kids to the doctor, but do we place the same importance on the dentist? Remember, everything may look fine but it is incredibly important to get your kids checked out.

Tooth decay, while nearly 100 percent preventable, remains the number one chronic infectious disease among children in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While studies show delaying the first dental exam until the age of 2 or 3 can negatively impact a child’s oral health, an AAPD survey found 40 percent of parents and caregivers surveyed wait to take their child to the dentist until after age 2.  

Parents and caregivers can go to to find tips and tools to teach their children about their teeth in a fun way, including the whimsical Mouth Monsters characters – Tartar the Terrible, Tooth D.K. and Ginger Bite-Us. The site also provides educational resources and guidance geared to help parents and caregivers better understand the importance of children’s oral health, as well as a pediatric dentist finder tool to locate a nearby primary dental care provider for their child.

I got a chance to speak with parenting expert Rosie Pope about her role in advocating for pediatric dental health. You may remember that I saw Rosie speak a few months ago at Fashion Forward.

Q1) Have you taken your children to the pediatric dentist yet? What was your experience?

Rosie has 3 kids and one more on the way. She found out about the need for children to visit the dentist with her 2nd son. She panicked and took him right away, and all though everything was fine she now knew she had to take her kids much earlier. Pediatric dentists have 2-3 years of additional training. When she took her son there were TVs, prizes and they had a great experience.

Q2) Advocating for children to get to the pediatric dentist is such a great cause. How did you become involved?

As a parenting expert Rosie Pope knows a lot about babies and she realized that an awful lot of people were in the same boat when it came to their children’s dental care. A lot of parents only go when there is an infection, not many go for wellness visits. 60% of kids enter Kindergarten with tooth decay. Parents should be taking their children to the dentist just like they take their kids to the doctors, it should be for wellness visits several times a year.

Q3) When it comes to your children, how do you get them excited to go to their checkups whether its for the dentist or the doctor?

Rosie says that it really depends on the age. With older children you explain the benefits of going to the doctor for your health. With younger kids it is an opportunity to to do fun things like decorate your own toothbrush! (How cool is that?!)

Q4) As a parent do you have anxiety when you are taking your young ones to be treated? I personally have a rough time and my husband has to take the reigns. Are you the same way?

Rosie also has a ton of anxiety (just like me!) It hasn’t always been a pain free experience for her kids. Sometimes she has some guilt about not being in the room but she just has to remember that it really is the best thing for your child. It is better to take the kids to the dentist now for preventative visits so that in the future they can have great dental health!

 Mommies: Do you take your kids to the Pediatric Dentist as often as you take them to the doctor?



Mommy. Fitness Addict. Socialite.
Schnelle "Nellie" Acevedo is a busy mom of two young boys (3 and 6), she is an Account Manager by day and a self proclaimed fitness junkie by night. Brooklyn Active Mama is a body positive community that focuses on demonstrating to all women that you can always find time for fitness. A recent running addict, Nellie has completed 7 Half Marathons and is currently training for the New York City Marathon on 11/1/2015. Nellie also is a co-founder of the annual A Healthy U Conference which is a conference dedicated to helping women improve their mental, spiritual and physical health. Nellie is a licensed Zumba instructor in Brooklyn. You can find Nellie on TwitterInstagramFacebookPinterest, PeriscopeGoogle Plus.


  1. Great post! This is so important. I took both my boys to the pediatric dentist when they were little. I took them twice a year for checkups and cleanings.
    Kristina Walters recently posted…Game Plan – Spin Cycle & GU Birthday Week GiveawayMy Profile

  2. Yes. My kids see a dentist twice a year for sure. And then sometimes extra like when my youngest through a wood train at my son’s face and took a good piece of his adult, front tooth out. That’s when you separate the good dentists from the bad :-)
    Tara Newman recently posted…Hitting ResetMy Profile

  3. Since my kids are grown this is a non-issue now but I never even heard of a pediatric dentist until you started talking about them. It is amazing that bloggers can bring these things to other people now as I still don’t think this is common knowledge. Going earlier might also help relieve some anxiety I would think since it’s a routine they might become used to.
    Carla recently posted…Weekend Recap: Disney Junior Live, Tiara’s and FriendsMy Profile

  4. I actually did know this and I took the boys when they were about 1 and half. I had to bring extra help to manage them but my pediatric dentist is amazing!! The boys love going there now and I feel good that I’m creating a healthy habit for them. It’s definitely one of the easier things I’ve done as a parent. Great interview!!
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  5. You totally just reminded me that I have to make an appointment for a checkup for both the kids and myself now for the dentist. With all this bad weather I have been putting it off and am shooting to take them next month and hoping that some of this snow will be behind us, because I hate to make the appointment, only to have a ton of snow and have to reschedule. Thanks for sharing the interview though and have a great Monday now :)
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  6. So true! Dental health is so important, especially for kids. I tell my kids all the time that these are the only teeth they are going to get! ;)-Ashley
    thedoseofreality recently posted…Would You Rather Give Up S-E-X Or Alcohol For 6 Months?My Profile

  7. This post makes me think about the whole fluoride debate. I no longer allow my kids to get fluoride treatments. It’s so toxic and our kids are already getting the stuff through the water supply. Fluoride also comprises the pineal gland within the brain. Oh ya, but I do take the kids 2X/year for their cleanings. :)
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  8. My kids are on the state plan called peachcare and its mandatory that they go to the dentist or they will get kicked off so my kids have to go every 6 months. I went when I was little until my mother could not afford for me to go anymore and that is when my teeth started to get bad.
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  9. I never knew you needed to take your kids to the dentist so early. I would have thought it would be at the point where they have all their teeth. I guess it makes sense though! Gotta love Rosie Pope!
    FitBritt recently posted…Sydney: The Beaches and More!My Profile

  10. I keep my children up to date with their dentists appointmtents. We go every six months and NEVER miss one! I thnk oral health is just as important as regular health!
    Britton recently posted…Everything you need to Know about Les Mills RPMMy Profile

  11. We never used a pediatric dentist but from the time the boys were each 4 we started taking them to the dentist – every 6 months we all 4 go – it’s a family experience!
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  12. I didn’t take Scarlet until she was four! I had Des with me and they said it wasn’t too early for him too. Of course he had no teeth then so I sort of brushed it off.
    Reading your story, I thought you were going to say the swollen gums was just teething! However, I just heard about a little girl with a virus that had swollen gums that covered her teeth! It went away in a few days.
    This is a very important thing to do, though. I will not be waiting with my one-year-old the way I did with my four-year-old!
    Tamara recently posted…I Wanna See You Be Brave.My Profile

  13. T LOVES going to our family dentist. We definitely bring her every six months for check up, but unfortunately that hasn’t helped her much. Our dentist actually advocates the 2 year old wait as long as we’re actively cleaning the teeth daily (which we do twice a day every day!). Our kid’s preschool also has a dentist come and talk to the 3 & 4 year olds once a year to help get them excited about taking care of their teeth.
    Leslie recently posted…{Listicles} Things that Need FixingMy Profile

  14. Everyone was shocked when I started taking my babies to the dentist at 1. I had read somewhere to take them as soon as they had a tooth, so I did. I didn’t know any different.

    Luckily, my babies LOVE their dentist. The office is perfect and they make going to the dentist a fun experience.

    These are all great tips!

    BTW, I LOVE Rosie Pope!
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  15. Never thought about the start time. I never would have guessed 1 tho. Good interview.
    Joi recently posted…20 Ways to Make Your Valentine’s Weekend PhysicalMy Profile

  16. Starting children with good dental hygiene habits at a younger age will give them a healthy smiles when they grow up and the cycle will continue when they have their own kids. Most parents have a hard time thinking how much oral care their child needs. They know they want to avoid cavities, but sometimes they have no idea how to do it the right way. Visiting a pediatric dentist will be a smart move since they are trained to handle a wide range of issues associated with kids’ dental health.

  17. Thank you for the great interview! I went to the dentist for the first time when I was 4 or 5. Luckily I have great teeth, so there were no consequences, but I wish my parents would have done it differently. For sure my kids will see the dentist at very early age.
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  18. Great Thread! I’m a pediatric dentist in Tribeca (across the street from Rosie’s store!) I encourage you to find a pediatric dentist if your general dentist doesn’t see infants (most don’t have the training). An infant screening by your pediatric dentist should cover many topics including: nutrition, trauma, speech, pacifier/thumb habits, just to name a few! Don’t let parent or child anxiety keep you away – we love what we do!

  19. Great post. We take both our kids to a local pediatric dentist. Our son who is six goes but he throws a fit everytime. He had never had his teeth cleaned in the four years we have been going. Since he panics we just hold him down long enough for the dentist to check his teeth. But he loves playing in the waiting room.
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  20. I have found the whole interview splendidly useful . I think that making kids excited about the their visit to the dentist is very important. Their interest would make them understand that why maintaining oral hygiene is important.


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