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Kids Open Wide and Say "Ah"

When I was a kid, there were few things I wanted to do less than visit the dentist, which was always frightening and often painful.

If only Dr. Anna Simonis had been practicing back then. Luckily for today's children, Dr. Simonis' New Canaan-based, kid-friendly pediatric dentistry practice is just a smile away. "I didn't have the greatest experiences with my dentist growing up and I wanted to alleviate some of that for children," says Dr. Simonis (known to her young patients as "Dr. Anna"). She adds that children might have some anxiety about going to the dentist, but because of advances in pediatric dentistry – in the realms of awareness, preventative care and pain management – they are in general far more comfortable with the prospect of dentistry.

Having a cool dentist's office doesn't hurt either. "Dr. Anna's" place is less procedure-oriented than it is fun zone. The brightly colored waiting room offers young patients videos, activities and games, and for parents, not only is there wireless internet service but there are beverages in abundance as well.

Once kids recline in the dentist's chair, Dr. Simonis says there is "just so much to put their fears at ease." She credits a "warm and friendly environment and non-aggressive treatment," which she feels creates a positive experience for her patients.

Dr. Simonis, who lives in Westchester County with her husband and three year-old son, always knew she wanted a career involving children. She put herself through college by working for an oral surgeon and believes that experience was inspiration for her pursuit of a career in dentistry.

And she loves what she does. "Even though pediatric dental disease remains the most diagnosed chronic childhood illness, there is less of it now than there was years ago." Dr. Simonis credits this improvement with fluoride, regular dental care and improved hygiene information and nutrition counseling.

But the other improvement lies in that cool office. It's just another reason to want to start your childhood all over again.

Do you have a great dentist? Celebrate him or her! Please let me know here.

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