Say hello to Dr. Bobby Raber of Dr. Bobby L Raber Pediatric Dentistry in Prescott, Arizona! Dr. Raber is a pediatric dentist who specializes in dentistry for infants, children, teens, and special needs patients. Dr. Raber’s practice focuses on preventive care and treatment to help each child grow a healthy smile and form healthy habits to last a lifetime.
Dr. Raber moved to Prescott in 2006 after completing his pediatric residency at Temple Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Dr. Raber and his wife Beth are very active in their local community and love to spend time with their five children.
What made you decide to become a dentist?
In 8th grade my dad asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I told him I thought I should be a mechanic because I liked helping people and I liked tools. He told me I should be a dentist instead. Crazy as it may seem, I decided then to work towards becoming a dentist.
Do you floss as much as you recommend?
Yes! I brush almost too often and floss every time I eat. I carry a pouch with a flosser everywhere I go. I think I’m a little OCD about it.
What is your favorite flavor toothpaste?
My favorite flavor is mint of course. I offer bubble gum or mint to my patients, but mint is the only way to go for me.
Electric or manual toothbrush?
I’m a Sonicare fan. I have been using them and recommending them for about 20 years. They help keep me brushing for only two minutes because it turns off after that.
Which celebrity do you think has the best smile and why?
My wife definitely has the best smile. She is a local celebrity you know. I met my wife when she was still in braces. I even have a prom picture with both of us in braces. Luckily her smile turned out perfect.
If you could tell your patients to stop doing one thing, what would it be?
If I could tell patients to do one thing, it would be to stop procrastinating on their dental appointments. It makes our job much harder when things get worse, and people still expect an easy fix. I realize there are many factors, like personal finances or fear of the dentist, but putting off a dental appointment does make it harder for us to meet our patient’s expectations.
What’s the best thing about being a Delta Dental dentist?
The best thing about being a Delta Dental dentist is the number of my patients that have Delta Dental insurance. I don’t accept very many insurance plans and try to limit it to the plans that are widely accepted in my area. Delta Dental is definitely one of those.
Dentist: How is your flossing going?
Patient: Very well
Dentist: Great, when was the last time you flossed your teeth?
Patient: Why don’t you check your chart. The last time my teeth were flossed you did it.
What are three things that always make you smile?
- When I get a cute little patient around one-year-old. Even if they scream at me, they are still so cute I can’t help but smile.
- Whenever a young patient tries to help a sibling with an exam. There is just something special about children helping each other.
- Watching the movie Elf at the office. We don’t watch it all year, we take the month of January off. We start back up in February to help us start getting into the holiday spirit.
You obviously have a passion for helping children and their caregivers get on the right track with good oral hygiene habits from a young age. Why is it so important to educate about good oral hygiene from an early age?
Teaching children at an early age the importance of good oral hygiene is vital because we all know how difficult it is to get them to do something they don’t want to once they are old enough to have an opinion about things. Those simple lessons frame the future and can result in a lifetime of good oral habits.
What’s a good tip you can offer parents or caregivers to help them make their kiddos feel comfortable before visiting the dentist?
A tip for parents of special needs kids is “happy visits.” I can’t even begin to explain the transformation that occurs from weekly happy visits for an apprehensive patient. We often start in the parking lot, and the next week we walk to the front door, and then into the lobby, etc. Eventually these kids come right in, jump in the chair, and let us clean their teeth and do complete exams. It just takes patience and willingness to take the time they need to be comfortable with the office.
February is National Children’s Dental Health Month—what are your best tips for getting kids to brush and floss like they should?
The best way to get a child to brush and floss is positive reinforcement and patience. Some children respond well to a chart and stickers, others prefer a prize. Some just want the positive affirmation that we are as parents are proud of them. Whatever your child responds to, make it positive and they will eventually get there.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what 3 things would you bring with you?
If I were stuck on an island I would bring my family, a portable speaker and all my wife’s music, and lots of floss picks. My wife loves to dance and if she has her music, our family can party anywhere. I am a little OCD about my flossers. I don’t think I could survive long without them.
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