Show Off Your Smile
By Maria Klouda
Opening in 2007, Cherokee Children’s Dentistry has become an established member of the greater Canton community. The practice provides exceptional pediatric oral health care, with an emphasis on relationship-based dentistry. The mission is to partner with the family and the pediatric patient at an early age to allow for optimal oral health through education and prevention.
According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, children should have their first pediatric dental visit by age 1. Establishing a “dental home” at a young age provides an opportunity for positive dental experiences and the prevention of tooth decay. In recent years, the incidence of childhood cavities has increased significantly, with approximately 20% of 2-year-old children and 45% of 4-year-old children developing cavities.
Dr. “Miles” Mazzawi, Dr. Anthea “Drew” Mazzawi, and Dr. Nirali “Procter,” the dentists at Cherokee Children’s Dentistry, are dedicated to helping children develop good oral health habits at an early age — and to making the experience fun for the whole family.
Board-certified pediatric dentists Dr. Miles and Dr. Drew have a passion for dentistry and for children. Their practice takes a “mom-and-pop,” hometown approach to pediatric dental care, developing one-on-one relationships with patients and their families.
“We value our patients and enjoy spending time getting to know them,” says Dr. Drew. “It’s important to develop a rapport with our patients, so that they trust and feel comfortable with us. Having practiced for over 10 years in the same community, it has been a blessing to watch our young patients grow into adulthood.”
To become pediatric dentists, Dr. Miles and Dr. Drew completed a two-year residency program in pediatric dentistry after four years of dental school. During their residency, the doctors underwent additional training in child psychology, behavior management, growth and development, dental trauma, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, and preventive care. In addition, they were trained to perform conscious sedation and work with special needs patients.
Dr. Miles, Dr. Drew, and Dr. Procter work closely with parents to create a dental home based on a fun, caring environment that teaches children the importance of taking care of their teeth.
“We encourage parents to keep things simple and take a positive approach when preparing kids for their first dental visit,” says Dr. Miles. “We relate to children on their level, using kid-friendly words they can understand, making them feel more comfortable in the clinical setting.”
For example, cavities are called “sugar bugs,” fillings are called “stars,” and numbing methods are called “sleepy juice” and “happy air.”
“If you make it fun for kids, they will get excited about taking care of their teeth. By developing good habits at an early age, they are likely to carry that into adulthood,” says Dr. Miles.
The office of Cherokee Children’s Dentistry was designed with a child’s experience in mind. From the kid-sized door to the colorful wilderness murals throughout, the office captivates young children. The reception area includes a large play area with toys, children’s books, video games, and cartoons.
“I’ve always loved the outdoors, so I thought it would be fun, here in the north Georgia mountains, to bring the outdoors in,” says Dr. Miles.
The wilderness theme carries over into the different areas of the office, which also features overhead TVs and headphones for patients to enjoy.
“As soon as children walk through the door, they see other kids having fun and playing, and this helps them feel at ease,” says Dr. Drew. “We try to make the whole process enjoyable from a child’s perspective.”
The personal, hometown care at Cherokee Children’s Dentistry also extends into the community. The doctors and their dental team support a variety of local charities dedicated to children. During Children’s Dental Health Month in February, Dr. Miles visits local schools, talking to approximately 3,000 students about proper oral hygiene and healthy eating habits.
“With many of our patients, the relationship begins in the schools,” says Dr. Miles. “Introducing children to dentistry in a fun, familiar setting often makes the kids excited about their dental visit. Parents have told us that their children came home from school talking about ‘sugar bugs’ and wanting to go see the dentist.”
Patients and residents of Cherokee County have recognized Dr. Miles, Dr. Drew, and Dr. Procter’s community outreach and personal, hometown care by voting Cherokee Children’s Dentistry “Best Of – Community Favorite” nine times.
“Word-of-mouth referrals are the best advertisement for any business,” says Dr. Drew. “Being voted ‘Best Of’ in the pediatric dental category is a testament that parents feel confident in bringing their children to us, and that we’re providing the quality care they want for their family.”
Cherokee Children's Dentistry
205 Waleska Road, Suite 2-B, Canton