Welcome to Locally Grown! Locally Grown introduces you to the people and stories behind local Lake County businesses. Today it is our pleasure to introduce you to Dr. Paul Herer, of the Children’s Dentistry Group, LLC in Lake Zurich.
My kids have been patients of Dr. Paul Herer of Children’s Dentistry Group, LLC in Lake Zurich for almost six years. After a traumatic experience at our family dentist, I took my then two year old to see Dr. Herer and we haven’t looked back since!
Over the years, we’ve started calling him simply “Doc.” It’s a term of endearment we’ve picked up from his staff, and while there are three other wonderful dentists at Children’s Dentistry Group, LLC, when you say “Doc,” everyone knows you are taking about Dr. Herer.
“Doc” is a New Jersey native but has been living in Lake County since 1978. He came to Illinois for his pediatric dental residency when he was afforded the opportunity to be an attending at Children’s Memorial Hospital (now Lurie’s) and teach at Northwestern Dental School. He and his wife liked the area and decided to make it their home.
In high school he was good in science and working with his hands. His interest in dentistry began when he began working in a dental laboratory. A family friend, who was a dentist, encouraged him to observe and learn which led to his decision to attend dental school after college.
Through high school and college, Dr. Herer worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor. He discovered how much he enjoyed teaching and working with children. From there it was a natural progression to choose pediatric dentistry as a way to teach children about good oral health.
In 1976, Dr. Herer completed his pediatric dental speciality training and has been practicing dentistry for almost 43 years.
While his years of experience have certainly contributed to his bedside (or chair side?) manner, one can’t help but believe that Dr. Herer also possesses a natural gift with children. In my previous review, I said,
If Mr. Rogers were alive today and he was a dentist, he’d be Dr. Paul Herer.
I stand by that statement. His gentle demeanor and kind way immediately put children (and jittery parents) at ease.
Dr. Herer wouldn’t have lasted over 40 years in the industry without having a passion for his work. Dr. Herer enjoys, “working with people (parents and children) and having the satisfaction of helping enhance their health and well-being.” He looks for the same quality in his staff and seeks out, “people who enjoy what they are doing, good work ethics, obviously who enjoy working with children, have patience, are willing and embracing learning.”
It helps that as a parent himself, Dr. Herer has insight about children’s fears. Although his daughter is already 37, Dr. Herer still knows how to handle a panicky child.
For a child who is scared, do not over-explain and keep your language positive. Make sure not to use words like pain, hurt, or shot. It is good to say the dentist will count their teeth and check their smile. Parents who have their own dental anxiety should be open to separating for dental visits so they do not project their fear onto their child.
Dr. Herer further advises you should bring your child to the dentist early, by age one and/or six months after the eruption of their first tooth. “Beginning preventive care at this time will help prevent any fears of future dental care.”
But Dr. Herer’s mind isn’t on teeth 24/7. He and his wife are outdoor enthusiasts, enjoying fishing, dog-sledding, snowshoeing, horseback riding, traveling, nature walks and photography. The both have their U.S. Coast Guard Master Mariner’s Captain’s credentials and sail regularly on Lake Michigan.
His waiting room gives you a little taste of his love of water with an elaborate saltwater aquarium with live coral, sea anemones and the full (real life!) cast of Finding Nemo.
Dr. Herer also has a heart for philanthropy and takes real satisfaction from helping to enhance the health and well-being of his community. His office hosts an annual Halloween candy buy-back event which trades cash and goodie bags for your leftover candy. Each year they send hundreds of pounds of candy to our U.S. troops overseas.
February ~ National Children’s Dental Health Month
Another initiative Doc is proud of is their school presentations. In recognition of February as National Children’s Dental Health Month, his staff travels to local schools and programs to educate children on proper oral hygiene and good dietary habits. They offer free presentations that are fun and interesting for kids, including an exciting experiment. They also donate goody bags that include toothbrushes and activity books to get the kids started on their oral hygiene journey.
If your organization is interested in scheduling a presentation for your students ages 3-5, please contact their event coordinator, Rachel, at (847) 726-0300. This is their seventh year, and last February they visited 30 locations and got to meet with over 2,000 children in our community.
Disclosure: Children’s Dentistry Group, LLC is our featured Locally Grown Business of the Month. This series of features is part of a paid partnership with Little Lake County. Contact sales[at]littlelakecounty[dot]com if you are interested in featuring your own locally-owned business in our series.