A few years ago, when my normally cheerful, outgoing two-year-old complained of mouth pain, I took him to see my dentist. I figured what’s good enough for me was good enough for him, right? BIG MISTAKE! We couldn’t get him to even open his mouth. There was screaming. There was thrashing. And tears…oh so many tears… and the tears were not just from him. I found myself holding him down while wrestling in my mind that there had to be a better way. Thus began my search for a Pediatric Dentist. Someone gentle with enough experience to set both my son and myself at ease. We found Dr. Paul Herer* at Children’s Dentistry Group, LLC in Lake Zurich.
Children’s Dentistry Group, Lake Zurich
From the moment I called and explained my anxiety, the administrative staff set my mind at ease. The assistant took the time to hear my sad story of dental post-traumatic stress despite the fact she must have listened to the same story a million times before. Often when you call a medical office of any kind, you feel hurried so the person on the line can grab the next call. This has never been the case at Children’s Dentistry Group. Have you ever been in a situation where you love a particular healthcare provider but can’t stand the front office staff? Or vice versa? At Children’s Dentistry Group, you will find the same level of courtesy at the front desk, with the clinical assistants, and the dentists themselves.
When I tell my friends what our first visit to Children’s Dentistry Group was like, the first word out of my mouth is “Magic!” I don’t know how they do it. I was completely prepared for another meltdown and that we would have to turn around and go home. The Clinical Assistant immediately set out to charm his pants off. She took the time to show him how cool the chair was and how he can ride up and down. She showed him all the equipment and let him get accustomed to the bright light. Her first priority was to make sure he felt at ease and that they would have fun together that day. Once it came time to open his mouth, to my utmost surprise, he did so readily! It was a complete 180 from his previous dental visit. This was a child who didn’t even like Mommy brushing his teeth, but he could have sat there all day with his new best friend watching her clean his teeth with a little handheld mirror.
When it came time for Dr. Herer to do the check-up, I tensed up again. How would my toddler respond to this new man with a beard and glasses? The answer is he responded beautifully! Dr. Herer exudes calm. He will never force a child to do anything they are not ready to do. He’ll even let your child sit in your lap while he examines them. If Mr. Rogers were alive today and he was a dentist, he’d be Dr. Paul Herer.
Dr. Herer has nearly 40 years of experience, and it shows. You sense that he really cares for his patients and their dental health. He never rushes through appointments and always takes time to talk to the parents. When it came time for my timid one-year-old to schedule her first appointment, Dr. Herer suggested we stagger the appointments so she could sit and watch her older brother have his teeth cleaned and examined first. Sure enough, when her time came, she was no longer bashful but, in fact, eager! Children’s Dentistry Group’s magic struck again!
During another visit, my daughter had a little accident on her shirt. The staff were compassionate and gave her a new t-shirt to take home. They truly anticipate every need. Even when making appointments, they remind me, “Oh, he’ll be in school then, so let’s make it in the afternoon,” or “You’ll need paperwork if he’s entering Kindergarten, let me print it out for you.” Because really, I don’t have my head screwed on tight enough to envision what’s happening six months from now, but the staff is always there to remind me.
Children’s Dentistry Group doesn’t just show they care when your child is in the dental chair; they show their love to the community too! During Dental Health Month (February), their staff visited over 20 schools to educate kids about oral health. Each Halloween, they host a Halloween Candy Buy-Back where they collect your trick-or-treat candy and trade it for cash! They pay by the pound and send it to our overseas military personnel through Operation Gratitude. Kids leave with their money and a goodie bag filled with stickers, toothbrushes, a water bottle, and other fun items. My kids understand that we will be making a trip to the dentist to give their candy to the soldiers each year. In this way, Dr. Herer and his staff have become a part of our yearly holiday tradition.
If you’ve been putting off taking your child to the dentist, have yet to make a Back-to-School appointment, or have been unsatisfied with your current care, I wholeheartedly urge you to give Children’s Dentistry Group a call. Aside from Dr. Herer, you can also make an appointment to see Dr. Melissa Patenio. No matter who you see at Children’s Dentistry Group, they will be sure to put a smile on your face.
All thoughts and opinions belong to the writer and do not reflect the opinion of Little Lake County or its Editors. No compensation was received and the opinions expressed in this post were unsolicited.
*Dr. Paul Herer retired from dentistry in 2020
When Loralie isn’t out exploring with her two pint-sized adventurers you’ll often find her in front of her computer plotting to take over the world (or at least Lake County.) She appreciates good friends, good food, expensive shoes and parents who make two lanes in the drop-off/pick-up line at school. Her spirit animal is The Hobbit. She invites you to join her on her quest for unique distractions, diversions and deliciousness in this county we call home.