Kids Smile shines

Pediatric dentist sets up office locally

By: Candice Leigh Helfand
   A new business in Monmouth Junction is giving kids a reason to smile, and not just because of its toy supply or its tranquil décor.
   Dentist Dawn Forbes has opened a new dental facility, Kids Smile, on Route 1 that specializes in pediatric dentistry. It targets children ages 1 to 14, and focuses on easing the child into the experience of dentist visits.
   "That’s her specialty," said Office Assistant Rakhee Patel, a Jamesburg resident.
   Dr. Forbes’ dream of owning her own practice took a long time, what with saving, planning, decorating and moving in the equipment.
   "This is a two-year plan in the making, and it’s come a long way," Ms. Patel said.
   The office is designed to give children a welcome, calm feeling, so that they aren’t intimidated by their visit.
   "Kids aren’t always sure why they’re here," said Dr. Dawn (as her patients call her). "I wanted the kids to feel comfortable when they got here."
   In honor of the new office, Dr. Forbes will be offering free seminars, office tours and mini-examinations until her practice gets busier.
   During the seminars, groups of patients and parents will be invited to talk about topics in dental health, such as proper tooth-brushing techniques. Dr. Forbes has also made presentations at day-care centers and elementary schools.
   The mini-examinations are brief visual examinations — approximately 15 minutes each — and will include Dr. Forbes looking into the child’s mouth to see if there are problems, present or on the horizon, that parents should be aware of.
   Another unique facet of this new office is that it is completely paperless. Everything is done digitally, and all patient records will be stored on computers.
   Dr. Forbes graduated from the Columbia University School of Dentistry and Oral Surgery in 1997, in the top 10 percent of her class, she said. A specialized degree in pediatric dentistry required an additional two years, on top of the eight years Dr. Forbes spent in undergraduate and medical schools.
   "She’s happy, and I’m happy for her; she wanted this for a long time," Ms. Patel said.
   "I always knew I wanted to be in health care," Dr. Forbes said. "And I always knew I wanted to take care of children."
   The public is invited to drop in on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call the office at (732) 297-5200 or visit it on the Web at