We all want the best possible dental care for our children. Clubhouse Pediatric Dentistry is here to provide the highest-quality dental care for children in a relaxed and calming environment. Our goal is for every child, parent, and guardian to feel at ease with us.


What is the Difference Between a Family Dentist and a Pediatric Dentist?


A general dentist (often called a family dentist) treats patients of all ages. Graduation from a four-year accredited dental school is required to become a general dentist in the U.S. Some general dentists advertise that they are a child-only office (which is great), but that does not mean they have the additional training that pediatric dentists are required to have. When selecting a pediatric dentist, look for the word “pediatric” in the title or call their office and ask if the dental provider is a “licensed pediatric dentist.”  


A pediatric dentist is specialized in the care of infants, children, and adolescents – much like a pediatrician compared to a family physician. Pediatric dentists receive 2 (or more) years of additional training in a pediatric residency program in addition to their 4-year dental school training. A pediatric dental residency focuses on the psychological, developmental, emotional, social, and physical needs of infants, children, and adolescents (including individuals of any age with special healthcare needs) in regards to their oral health.


What Does it Mean to be a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist?


Dr. Courtney Matthew Jackson not only completed dental school and a pediatric dental residency but went above and beyond to develop his skills by becoming Board-Certified. Board certification takes additional time and personal expense and is not required to obtain a pediatric dentist degree. It’s a set of rigorous exams performed after residency (and in front of a board of directors at the national level) to prove you have the knowledge, competence, and skills to be the best in the industry! Dr. Jackson is one of only a few Board-Certified Pediatric Dentists in the State of Idaho and the only Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist in the State of Wyoming!


This advanced training has enabled Dr. Jackson to understand, diagnose and treat young patients according to their unique needs with the extra tools and resources acquired by his extensive training. You can expect Dr. Jackson to understand the complex needs of your child; from eruption patterns in your infant to the delicate nature of anxiety or dental trauma in older children, and from the balance of a developing tooth bud to maintaining the space in a growing mouth after an extraction – plus everything in between!


Clubhouse Pediatric Dentistry has created a reassuring atmosphere of acceptance and understanding with this knowledge. Children are developing children, not miniature adults. We expect and encourage them to behave as such! It’s okay if they want to talk or shout or laugh or cry. Every effort has been made to meet their needs. From calming colors, games, and prizes to smaller equipment and child-friendly terminology, we strive to promote understanding between child, parent, and doctor and make dental visits less stressful for everyone. 


Tips For Children With Dental Anxiety


Speaking of stress, dental anxiety in children (and adults) is very real. It’s essential to see a dentist regularly to check for signs of potential problems and get them fixed right away. Avoiding dental problems due to anxiety will only cause them to get bigger, potentially causing more anxiety in the future. Here are some suggestions to help minimize dental anxiety in your little one.


  • Keep your child’s oral health at the forefront by offering a balanced diet low in sugar (especially sticky sugars). 
  • Gently brush and floss around teeth and gums morning and night with a soft brush.  This is the best defense against decay and dental pain which causes anxiety.
  • Find a licensed pediatric dentist; they are specialized in handling dental anxiety in children.
  • Check your dentist’s website for pictures of their office and staff members before your first visit. Familiarity can be very soothing.
  • Visit your pediatric dentist every six months (or more if recommended). Having a routine is a great way to become more familiar and, therefore, less anxious. 
  • Schedule your child’s appointment when they are more likely to be calm and cooperative. Avoid times when they are tired or hungry. 
  • Allow your child to ask questions and express any concerns.
  • Use relatable words to help your child understand what is happening. Avoid words that may initiate fear.
  • Most of all, remain calm and quiet during your child’s appointment. Children will reflect the emotions of their guardians. If you’re feeling anxious, it may be best to step away. Be assured your child is in safe hands.


What to Expect at Your Child’s Dental Appointment


Expectations are everything! In addition to receiving the best care possible, we want your child to feel comfortable, safe, and understood at each of our locations. Here is a general walkthrough of an appointment with us.


  • Our offices are comfortable and clean with a focus on children. You will be welcomed when you enter and be asked to complete paperwork, schedule your next cleaning, and pay balances due to minimize your wait when the appointment is over.  


  • Your child will be called by name and taken back by any of our excellent assistants or hygienists. You are welcome to accompany your child but are not required to do so.  


  • Our assistant or hygienist will clean and polish your child’s teeth or prepare them for treatment.


  • Dr. Jackson performs all exams and treatment himself with help from an assistant.


  • We like to explain things in age-appropriate language as we go, so there are no surprises for parents or children.


  • Our staff will use gentle techniques to ensure that your child is as comfortable as possible.


  • Although we are very thorough, we try to be quick too. It isn’t easy to hold still with your mouth open for long periods, especially when you’re a kid! Plus, the sooner it’s over, the less chance there is for anxiety. It may only take a minute for Dr. Jackson to assess the health of every surface of every tooth and look for signs of trouble on your child’s face, head, neck, tongue, gums, and palate. But never hesitate to ask if you have a specific concern or question.


  • Once the appointment is complete, an assistant will lead you back to the front office to check you out. If needed, treatment plans and payments will be made at this time. Again, don’t hesitate to ask questions during any portion of your visit. We are here for you!


The Best Pediatric Dentistry in Your Area


Clubhouse Pediatric Dentistry has three convenient locations to serve the children of Southeast Idaho and Southwest Wyoming. We can be found in Idaho Falls, Rexburg, and Jackson Hole. Dr. Jackson is a Board-Certified Pediatric Dentist with child-specific advanced training and over ten years of clinical experience. You can trust your child will be cared for in a professional, gentle and loving environment with us. Come see what we have to offer!  


Schedule your child’s appointment today!