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Dentistry for Children

Caring for and Creating Smiles

By Haley Jones

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, so what better time than now to make sure your child is being cared for by the best pediatric dental provider? Dentistry for Children in Woodstock provides compassionate pediatric dental care in a fun, child friendly setting. The practice also provides orthodontic care for the whole family through their partner, Family Orthodontics.

Children’s mouths grow and change throughout their development, and it’s important to get them started on a lifetime of healthy smiles from an early age. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) recommends children start seeing a pediatric dentist by age 1 or within 6 months of their first tooth. Pediatric dentists have specialized degrees and certifications beyond their general dentistry degrees, which equips them with the knowledge, qualifications, and understanding to treat the unique needs of young patients. At Dentistry for Children, the dentists and their team members are specially dedicated to helping children and parents have a friendly, comfortable experience at every appointment.

A team dedicated to pediatric dentistry

Dentistry for Children’s team includes pediatric dentists Marjorie Attimy- Kalevela, DDS; Tisha Ross, DDS; and Darius Sanford, DMD. The team also includes two general dentists, Michael Friedman, DDS, and Edward DeBartolo, DDS. Dr. Attimy-Kalevela obtained her pediatric specialty certificate from East Carolina University, Dr. Ross completed her pediatric residency at Columbus Children’s Hospital and her MSD in pediatric dentistry at Ohio State University, and Dr. Sanford completed his pediatric residency at NYU Langone and is also a Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve. Dr. DeBartolo is a board-certified general dentist, and Dr. Friedman gives back to his community by participating in the Henry Schein Holocaust Survivor Oral Health Program.

While dentistry can be a frightening experience, even for adults, Woodstock’s Dentistry for Children strives to be a comforting practice that specializes in pediatric dentistry and special needs patients.

“We try to take the scary out of dentistry and make it fun,” said Natasha Morand, operations manager for Dentistry for Children.

The office also uses special equipment that has been adapted specifically for use with pediatric patients.

“We use the same type of equipment as a general dentist or a family dentist, but in a smaller size,” said Morand. “A lot of our tools also have more rounded edges or have brighter colors than those used for adult patients. Everything we do has our patients’ comfort and safety in mind. Using tools that are built specifically for children helps make the appointment more fun!”

Another way that Dentistry for Children makes appointments fun is by using bright, inviting colors and kid friendly decor in the office. Additionally, dentists use the “show, tell, do” method, which involves explaining the tools and procedures to the patient in terms they can understand. This reduces fears about dental procedures such as teeth polishing, X-rays, or fillings. By making sure children understand the process, visiting the dentist becomes a lot less frightening.

For special needs patients, Morand said the office works to book appointment slots at times when the office is less busy, to help patients feel more at ease.

“We also work with parents and caregivers to provide the type of care that makes their child feel the most comfortable. Every child has unique needs and preferences, so we do everything we can to meet those needs throughout the appointment in a way that is customized to the patient,” Morand said.

Some techniques used in the practice include verbal praise and encouragement, awarding prizes, playing movies during appointments, playing music, allowing younger patients to sit in their guardian’s lap during the appointment, asking patients to bring their favorite comfort items, and taking breaks during the appointment when necessary.

“Dentistry for Children’s providers are trained to manage special needs patients, and the office has quiet rooms to help manage patients who might need some extra TLC. We can take that extra time with our patients who might have a spectrum disorder, anxiety issues, or a birth defect and may need a special treatment environment that an adult practitioner may not be able to provide,” Morand said.

Dentistry for Children’s friendly staff knows how to put younger patients at ease, and their interactions make the process more fun for kids and special needs patients.

“All of our hygienists are very animated, very kid friendly,” Morand said.

When hiring staff, along with all the necessary training and certifications, the key quality Dentistry for Children looks for is personality, which ensures that hygienists, assistants, and dentists will be good with children.

Besides general teeth cleaning services, the office offers preventive sealants, cavity fillings, extractions, and restorations such as dental crowns. Since children’s mouths change as they lose their primary, or baby, teeth and their permanent teeth grow in, the dentists and team members are trained to work on children at all stages of their oral development.

Dentistry for Children also provides orthodontic treatment through their partner practice Family Orthodontics, which is located just down the street on Eagle Drive. Dr. Jeff Segnere, DMD, graduated from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine and then completed his residency in general dentistry at Navajo Indian Reservations in Winslow, Leupp, and Dilkon, Arizona. He completed his residency in orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics at Tufts University.

Dentistry for Children sees pediatric patients up to age 18, but established patients who are in college can continue to receive routine dental care. Providers also see special needs patients into their 20s to allow them extra time to find an adult dentist with whom they are comfortable.

Dentistry for Children can back their enthusiasm about treating kids with award recognitions. They were named Woodstock Family Life magazine’s Best of Life Award recipient for Best Pediatric Dentistry in 2016, 2019-2021, and 2023.

“I am very honored and proud to work for such a wonderful force in pediatric dentistry and to work for such a great office,” Morand said. “I feel like we are doing wonderful things in the community and wonderful things for the children we treat.”

The practice has a 4.4-star rating on Google, along with many glowing reviews from patients such as this one from Jenni Hansen:

“My littlest is afraid of the dentist. We've talked about the importance, and she understands but is still afraid. Today, the technician taking her X-rays was so patient, explained the entire process, and waited even longer for my daughter to agree. We had a private room where my daughter was made to feel very comfortable and important. Thank you. Then the hygienist was very matter of fact, telling my daughter what was going to happen and proceeded before she could bat an eye — perfect! The dentist came in, and my daughter had had enough and said ‘no,’ but the dentist was able to talk her through the process and make her comfortable enough to have the final exam. Lastly, the front desk was professional and quick in the beginning and end, with the added help of the individual who walked us out, letting my kids pick a toy. They were excited about the entire process, their new toothbrushes, and might even willingly go back in six months. Mom win! Thank you to every member of the staff, and let's not forget about the timely confirmation reminders where I could easily reschedule. It was a wonderful experience!”

For new patients, Dentistry for Children offers a $99 special for the first appointment, which includes X-rays, fluoride treatment, and a cleaning.

For more information, please visit the website or social media pages at or @dentistryforchildrenga (Instagram).

Dentistry for Children

2230 Towne Lake Parkway Building 1300, #100
Woodstock, GA 30189