Mom-Approved Pediatricians


Best Pediatricians Atlanta

Atlanta Parent readers nominated their favorite pediatricians and pediatric specialists in Atlanta.

Here are more in-depth profiles on highlighted pediatricians from our June issue.

Pediatricians
Pediatric Specialists

Featured Pediatricians

CentreSpringMD

Dr. Tasneem Bhatia (Dr. Taz) uses an integrative approach to find a patient’s center –their core –empowering them to spring forth into health. CentreSpringMD’s team includes 9 board-certified providers, including Dr. Jennifer Franklin, a board-certified pediatrician, who will work to find you and your family the missing answers to your health.

Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine

Gwinnett Pediatrics includes 19 board-certified pediatricians at four locations in the oldest established practice in Gwinnett County. Each pediatrician provides traditional, conservative health care in agreement with recommendations and guidelines offered by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

InTown Pediatrics

Intown Pediatrics is a neighborhood practice offering convenient appointment times and after-hours advice to concerned parents. They are committed to foster healthy growth and development for all children.

Kennesaw Pediatrics

The entire team of staff and physicians provides exceptional pediatric care from the day your child is born until they enter college. Each pediatrician has a wide range of knowledge in everything from sports physicals to asthma care.

One Family Pediatrics

Dr. Lavania and her staff are dedicated to providing accessible, individualized healthcare to children and adolescents and empowering parents with knowledge about their child’s well-being.

Featured Pediatric Specialists

Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center

Dr. Chacko helps make allergy symptoms a thing of the past! His practice handles all areas of pediatric allergy with a specialized focus in food allergy and food desensitization for children 9 months and older.

PENTA: Pediatric ENT of Atlanta

One of the leading pediatric ear, nose, and throat providers in the nation, PENTA has cared for thousands of children with common to complex ear, nose, and throat conditions. Nine convenient locations include four Rapid ENT Care Centers and four Hearing Centers of Excellence.

PEDIATRICIANS

Axelrod, Maria, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“Dr. Axelrod takes the time to show my daughter the ‘cool’ tools, talking with her, and gaining her trust.” Alyse C.

Bataille, Fredly, MD
Intown Pediatrics, Atlanta
“Dr. Bataille is so caring and wonderful with kids. Much of the check-in process is electronic. They have handled COVID well and allow you to wait in the car before your appointment.” -Laura R.

Benaroch, Roy, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Bergman, David, MD
The Pediatric Place, Johns Creek

Bhatia, Taz, MD
CentreSpringMD, Atlanta and Johns Creek
“Dr. Taz did an awesome job explaining everything and coming up with an extensive plan based on my family’s health needs.” -Nicole H.

Bien, Elizabeth R., MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Biggs, Jennie, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Billingsly, Tiffini, MD
Premier Pediatric Associates, Atlanta

Blackwell-Ford, Brandy, MD
Wellstar East Cobb Pediatrics, Marietta

Bramwell, Anna, MD
Piedmont Pediatrics, Atlanta

Brown, Ashley, MD
Briarcliff Pediatrics, Atlanta

Brown, Jina, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Brugner, Briana, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“Dr. Brugner is a fabulous pediatrician!” -Alexa D.

Cabrera, Greg, MD
North Point Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Campbell, Jennifer, MD
North Point Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Chheda, Shefali, MD
Harmony Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Chin, Nicola, MD
Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta

Clark, Gerald H., MD
North Fulton Pediatrics, Roswell

Cline-Egri, Zachary, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Darby, Scott, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Hamilton Mill and Sugar Hill
“Dr. Darby is so devoted to his patients. He takes time to listen and is thorough and detailed. I highly recommend Dr. Darby.” –Selma M.

Doelling, Nancy, MD
Chastain Pediatrics Concierge Service, Atlanta

Ellis, Annisha, MD
Wellstar Pediatric and Adolescent Center, Austell

Faroqui, Mahnaz, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Duluth
“I am the mom of a special needs child with Down Syndrome; she is so patient and great with her.”  –Shelby H.

Fedack, Maryann, MD
Pediatric Physicians, Alpharetta

Franklin, Jennifer, MD
CentreSpringMD, Atlanta and Johns Creek
“Integrative medicine along with speech therapy for my son, who has allergies and apraxia of speech, turned our lives around.” -Tori P.

Gillman, Rachel, DO
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville and Hamilton Mill
“We love Dr. Rachel! She took time to get to know my daughter before beginning the exam.” -Liz W.

Greenwald, Jodi M., MD
North Fulton Pediatrics, Roswell

Hall, Angela M., MD
Pearl Pediatrics, Powder Springs

Harley, Ronnika, MD
Wellstar Pediatric and Adolescent Center, Austell

Hassel McNeil, Stephanie, MD
Our Village Pediatrics, Canton

Heaven, Jordana, MD
Woodstock Pediatric Medicine, Woodstock

Herd, Hal, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Sugar Hill
“Dr. Herd is friendly and outgoing; he stays open late on Thursday nights.” -Elizabeth H.

Hill, Andrea, MD
Monroe Pediatrics, Monroe

Hines, Sivanthini, MD
Wellstar Pediatric and Adolescent Center, Smyrna

Jackson, Joanne, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Hamilton Mill
“Dr. Jackson is so patient and reassuring to us! She is a great support to our family.” -Ciara M.

Jackson, Vanna, MD
Sandy Springs Pediatrics, Sandy Springs

Jacobsen, Sara, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville and Hamilton Mill
“Dr. Sara is friendly and patient and relatable; my girls love her! As a parent, she’s not excitable and has a reassuring calmness about her.” -Amarie W.

Johnson, Wes, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville and Hamilton Mill
“His bedside manner puts children at ease. He exhibits a professionalism but still is very personal with his little patients.  Kids LOVE him.” –Angie L.

Johnson, Yolanda, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Hamilton Mill and Sugar Hill
“Dr. Johnson is a wonderful doctor and person. She takes time to listen and explain her findings. You never feel rushed.” -Joanna M.

Kazi, Megan, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville
“Dr. Kazi is so wonderful, my teenager loves her. She is thorough and we never feel rushed.” –Maya Z.

Kelly, Michelle, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Kim, Bob, MD
Stepping Stone Pediatrics, Kennesaw

King, David M., MD
Children’s Medical Group, Atlanta

Koenig, Allison, MD
Piedmont Pediatrics, Atlanta

Kubagawa, Homare, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville
“Dr. Kubagawa is so personable and really relates to my son. He feels safe and comfortable during visits.”–Jennifer H.

Lavania, Hiral, MD
One Family Pediatrics, Cumming
“Dr. Lavania and her staff are the best! She makes our kids feel safe and secure by talking directly to them.” -Kemia B.

Long, Mark A., MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“We’ve been seeing Dr. Long from the beginning and enjoy Kennesaw Pediatrics” Julie N.

Makar, Stacey, MD
Zaman Pediatrics, Snellville

Mauer, Catherine T., MD
Henry Pediatrics, LLC, Stockbridge

McKinnon, Elizabeth A., MD
Preston Ridge Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Megahed, Mona, MD
East Cobb Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Marietta and Kennesaw
Harmony Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Molock, Suzanne, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Hamilton Mill
“Dr. Molock truly takes time to talk to the patients, no matter their age. She has come through countless times with excellent referrals and suggestions. Office hours are always convenient.” -Brittany G.

Muller-Dale, Stephanie, MD
North Point Pediatrics, Alpharetta

Overcash, Jill, MD
All About Kids Pediatrics, Lawrenceville

Pitts, John, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“Dr. Pitts takes his time and does things to make my kids smile and make them more comfortable.” -Samantha C.

Pollack, Deborah, MD
Dekalb Pediatric Center, Decatur

Price, LaKimberly, MD
Intown Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine PC, Atlanta
“Dr. Price is very kind and always warm; she is very knowledgeable.”  -Maribel M.

Quisling, Yvette, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Sugar Hill
“Dr. Quisling goes above and beyond to make sure that my kids receive the care that they need every time we visit her office.” -Lisa T.

Ransom, Lindsey, MD
West Atlanta Pediatrics, Lithia Springs and Dallas

Reisman, A. Gerald, MD
Dunwoody Pediatrics, Dunwoody and Alpharetta

Robbins, Regina, MD
Wellstar KenMar Pediatrics, Kennesaw

Roberts, Lisa, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Duluth
“Doctor Roberts has taken care of my 3 kids for over 10 years, and we all adore and trust her. She is willing to explain, answer questions, offer options, and always leaves my kiddos smiling.” -Traci W.

Saade, Daniel, MD
Wellstar West Cobb Medical Center, Marietta

Sellers-Scott, Adrene M., MD
Kaiser Permanente Southwood Medical Center, Jonesboro

Sells, Deneta H., MD
Intown Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine PC, Atlanta
“She is caring, family oriented, and very professional.” -Sandria R.

Shu, Jennifer, MD
Children’s Medical Group, PC, Decatur

Smart, Jennifer D., MD
Children’s Medicine PC, Suwanee

Smiley, Susan, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Sugar Hill
“Dr Smiley is so thorough, so proactive, kind, always happy and puts us all at ease. She listens to every question and concern, never rushes you or makes you feel like you are taking too much of her time.” -Cindy S.

Spandorfer, Philip, MD
North Atlanta Pediatric Associates, Atlanta

Stebbins, Stanton, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Stephansson, Reanne, MD
Pediatric Physicians PC, Roswell and Alpharetta

Stickney, George, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Lawrenceville
“Dr. Stickney always has a smile and is so patient with the kiddos. I am one of those moms with lots of questions and he never makes me feel like I’m losing my mind.” –Kialyn L.

Stolle, Ashley, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Duluth
“Dr. Stolle is kind, thoughtful, caring and takes time to listen to her patients. She makes an effort to understand the situation and make an informed diagnoses or referral.” -Amynah R.

Strauss, Peter, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“I love the hours that they offer on the weekends and that you can always get an appointment the day they you need it for a sick visit.” -Hope P.

Thomas, Jason, MD
Family Health Centers of Georgia, Atlanta

Thrower, Karen S., MD
East Cobb Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Marietta and Kennesaw

Vathada, Murali, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“I bring my granddaughter to see Dr. Vathada and he is so personal with her. The office is very kid-friendly and the office is open 7 days a week!” -Marie T.

Virgil, Teddi, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“Wonderful practice! From my first visit for my newborn, everyone was attentive, professional, friendly, and timely.” -Jacque F.

Washington, Keyana, MD
Gwinnett Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, Hamilton Mill
“Dr. Washington is top notch, she is very attentive to my child’s needs, always has a smile and is very personable. Love all the GPAM doctors.” -Shelby H.

West, Kelly, MD
North Atlanta Pediatric Associates, Atlanta

Wilburn, Kelly, MD
Dunwoody Pediatrics, Dunwoody and Alpharetta

Williams, Wanda, MD
Kids First Pediatric Group, Stockbridge

Winn, Brian, MD
Peachtree Park Pediatrics, Atlanta

Winters-Smith, Lisa, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“Dr. Winter-Smith advocates for her patients and their families. She takes care of my son who has autism; she takes care and time and works around his needs.” -Renee H.

Yount, Sarah, MD
Kennesaw Pediatrics, Kennesaw
“The whole practice is extremely caring. From walking in the door until you leave, it’s always great dependable  Service. I can’t imagine ever going to another practice.” Dana T.

Young, Earl, MD
West Atlanta Pediatrics, Lithia Springs and Dallas

Zager, Sheri, MD
Pediatric Associates of North Atlanta PC, Peachtree Corners

PEDIATRIC SPECIALISTS

Aaron, Geoffrey, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“Dr. Aaron and his staff were very thorough! We were happy with our experience there and would suggest this practice to our friends.” -Eleanor P.

Bakthavachalam, Sivi, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“My son has been seeing Dr. Baktha for 6 years and had two ear tube surgeries and tonsil surgery. He is a compassionate and skilled surgeon.” -Nalini K.

Bauer, Erik, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“We love Dr.Bauer!” -Jessie J.

Berenson, Frank, MD
Panda Neurology & Atlanta Headache Specialists, Atlanta

Berg, Eric, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“Awesome doctor! Very patient and my daughter likes him!” -Joyce S.

Berland, Jerry E., MD
Thomas Eye Group, seven metro Atlanta locations

Byars, Thomas, MD
Pediatric Orthopedic Associates, 11 metro Atlanta locations

Chacko, Thomas, MD
Chacko Allergy, Asthma and Sinus Center, six metro Atlanta locations

Guillot, Lori, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“I have taken my children to several ENT doctors for ear and sinus problems and never got anywhere. Dr. Guillot took the time to listen and addressed each of my concerns. I have never met a more compassionate and capable physician.” -Mansi Z.

Harmon, Paula, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
Dr. Harmon and her staff are excellent. I am a medical provider and am very picky about the providers I see. She is friendly, caring, and informative. -Leah P.

Hurwitz, Eugene, MD
Center for Allergy and Asthma of Georgia, 10 metro Atlanta locations

Ingley, Avani P., MD
Northwest ENT and Allergy Center, five metro Atlanta locations

Mehta, Tejas R., MD
Atlanta Gastroenterology Pediatric and Adolescent Division, four metro Atlanta locations

Parikh, Shatul L., MD
Northwest ENT and Allergy Center, five metro Atlanta locations

Phoenix, Vidya P., MD
Thomas Eye Group, seven metro Atlanta locations

Shakir, Asiya, MD
Atlanta Gastroenterology Pediatric and Adolescent Division, four metro Atlanta locations

Sheerin, Kathleen A., MD
Atlanta Allergy & Asthma, Lawrenceville and Sandy Springs

Sherrod, Olga, MD
GI Care for Kids, four metro Atlanta locations

Thomsen, James, MD
PENTA: Pediatric Ear, Nose and Throat of Atlanta, nine metro Atlanta locations
“Dr. Thomsen has seen my kids over and over and he has been great every step of the way.” -Shelly W.

Tritt, Ramie, MD
Atlanta ENT Sinus & Allergy Associates, PC, Atlanta

Videlefsky, Neill, MD
Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Sibley Heart Center, Alpharetta

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Make Every Day Earth Day: 10 Eco-Friendly Products for Parents and Kids

These products replace those you typically use with eco-friendly options. Also check out these posts: Best Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and 15 Ways to Use Less Plastic. 

Organic Play Dough

Green Toys Dough is much like Play-Doh, but it’s made from organic flour and food-safe ingredients and packaged in recycled and recyclable materials printed with soy ink. The Dough Four-Pack contains four resealable tubs, red, yellow, green and blue; look for more sets with tools and accessories. Ages 2-8. $9.99 at greentoys.com

Dona Bela SHREDS

Dona Bela takes textile remnants and designs them into one-of-a-kind fashion neckwear, keeping the clothing manufacturing scraps out of landfills and employing folks in Des Moines, Iowa. As a plus, the company donates a portion of its proceeds to charity. Shreds start at $22, at donabelashreds.com

EcoSaucer Flying Disc

Launch those plastic grocery bags across the lawn with this disc made from 100 percent plastic grocery bags. Not only is it environmentally friendly, it’s dishwasher safe and packaged with recycled and recyclable materials. Ages 5 and older. $5.49 at greentoys.com

Reusable Snack Bags

How many plastic bags do you go through when making lunch for the kids? The answer is probably a ton–some for crackers, one for a sandwich, fruit, chips…the list goes on. Think about choosing reusable options that can be washed and used multiple times. Reusable sandwich bags from LunchSkins ($6.99 and up) are a great pick, or try a Bento Box Set ($12.99) from Bentology.

Sustainable Toys

Toys made from wood, recycled materials or natural rubbers are much better for the environment than plastic toys. Plan Toys has a line of Earth-friendly toys categorized by age. In addition to organic dough, Green Toys offers cars, planes and other play sets are made of 100 percent recycled material.

Kafe in the Box

This reusable coffee mug/travel mug from Precidio Design keeps coffee hot, stops spills, fits a vehicle’s cup holder – and prevents all those disposable cups from ending up in a landfill. Available in 12-ounce and 16-ounce sizes, in white, black, bronze and silver, $10.50-$17.99 at amazon.com

Tapp Collections Shopping Tote Bag

Make grocery shopping eco-friendly by bringing along a tote instead of using plastic bags. This shopping bag can be folded up and easily taken out when at the store. Available at amazon.com for $6.99-$8.99.

Eco-Friendly Cleaning

Most household cleaners you find at the store use chemicals to clean instead of natural ingredients. Try using green products such as Mrs. Meyer’s cleaners and dish soaps or Green Works cleaners and laundry detergents.

Green Experiments

Kids might think twice about that disposable foam cup once they experiment with Nancy B’s Science Club Garbage to Gardens Compost Kit and Decomposition Book. The kit is an introduction to composting and environmental science and includes a clear compost bucket, write-on/wipe-off boards and an activity journal. Ages 8-12. $24.99 at educationalinsights.com

Reusable Baby Food Pouches

Several companies make pouches you can use time and time again for baby food. Try Baby Brezza Reusable Food Pouches ($9.99 for 10) or Kiinde Foodii Pouches ($9.99 and up). Both of the systems offer wide openings for easy filling.

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20 Nontoxic Ways to Clean Your House

What if the microwave cleaned itself, the shower never grew mold or stains disappeared from white clothing? These green cleaning hacks deliver the look and fresh feeling of a spick-and-span house without harsh chemicals or hard work. In fact, some of these tricks are so effortless, parents can relax and enjoy some self-care time! Since there are no caustic cleaners, even kids can help. Your spring cleaning will be a breeze.

Kitchen

Remove dried-on food particles from the microwave without scrubbing. Place two lemon halves and a cup of water in the microwave. Heat five minutes. When time is up, wait 15 minutes with the microwave door shut. Open and wipe with a dry cloth. Watch baked-on food slide off.

Make a stainless steel sink sparkle by sprinkling baking soda in it. Gently scrub, then rinse away. Soak dish rags in white vinegar; place them in your sink and on the faucets. Wait 15 minutes, then wipe out the sink. The vinegar will remove water spots and leave the sink shiny.

Line the bottom of the kitchen garbage can with newspaper to soak up spills and catch food scraps.

Cover refrigerator shelves with clear food wrap. When there is a spill, peel away the food wrap. No more scrubbing sticky spots out of the fridge.

Put warm water and a few drops of dishwashing liquid in a dirty blender. With the lid on, turn on blender. Dump the dirty water, rinse, and presto! You’re done.

Bathroom

Disinfect the toilet by sprinkling baking powder in the bowl. Scrub the bowl and under the rim with a toilet brush at night before going to bed. Pour in a cup of white vinegar, which causes a foaming action. While you sleep, let the vinegar and baking soda do the work! Flush in the morning.

Keep mildew from growing in a clean shower by wiping it down with a dry hand towel after each use, saving scrubbing time later. For a dirty shower, mix equal parts white vinegar and dishwashing liquid; use a sponge to gently scrub the shower with the mixture, then rinse. (Don’t use vinegar on marble or natural stone.)

Hate mildew on your plastic shower curtain liner? Wash it in the gentle cycle of your washing machine on warm and hang to dry. To keep mildew from growing back, spray the liner with equal parts of water and vinegar.

Clean crusty bathroom faucets by soaking cleaning rags with white vinegar. Wrap the rags around the faucets and wait 30 minutes. Scrub hardened water deposits away gently with a toothbrush and rinse.

Floors

Add one-half cup of white vinegar to half a gallon warm water to mop your kitchen floor. Don’t like the smell of vinegar? Add a few drops of essential oil. Again, don’t use vinegar on natural stone or marble, and test an inconspicuous area before mopping a hardwood floor.

Furniture and Fixtures

Use a squeegee to remove embedded pet hair from furniture and carpets.

Use your iron to remove unsightly water rings from furniture. Empty the water out of the iron and heat to high. Cover the water stain with a white pillowcase. Move the hot iron back and forth over the pillowcase. The spot will disappear.

Trap dust rather than relocate it with a Microfiber mitt. When done, toss the mitt in the washer (don’t use fabric softener on it).

Dust fan blades with a pillowcase. Pull the pillowcase over the entire fan blade and wrap tightly. Pull across and off the blade. The dust clumps will be trapped in the pillowcase instead of falling through the air.

Laundry

Stubborn stains on your favorite white top? Wash and hang the garment out to dry in the sun for a few hours. The sun will bleach the stain and brighten dingy whites. This also works on colored fabric, but don’t leave it in the sun too long because the colors will fade.

Windows

Clean blinds by making a solution with equal parts water and vinegar. Spray or soak some of the solution on an old sock or rag and wipe the blinds with it.

Forget scrubbing – use a squeegee to clean windows and mirrors. Put a squirt of dishwashing liquid in approximately half a bucket of water. Use a sponge to apply the soapy water. Squeegee off for streak-free windows.

Air Freshening

Instead of using commercial air fresheners with strong perfumes, steam fresh ingredients in a pan on the stove or in a potpourri burner or small Crockpot. Add water and then throw in your favorite scents like cinnamon sticks, vanilla beans, fresh thyme or mint, cloves or eucalyptus.

Toys

Wash dishwasher-safe plastic toys in the dishwasher using an eco-friendly detergent.

Dust dirty stuffed animals with baking powder and put in a pillowcase for an hour. Remove the stuffed animals and vacuum with an attachment tool. The baking powder deodorizes the toys and soaks up oily spots.

Green Clean Supply List:

Keep these commonly-used green cleaning supplies on hand.

Natural Ingredients:

  • Lemons
  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Distilled water
  • Essential oils

Tools:

  • Sponges
  • Newspaper
  • Microfiber mitt
  • Squeegee
  • Glass spray bottle
  • Old socks and rags
  • Pillowcase

-Janeen Lewis

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Find Atlanta’s Top Mom-Approved Dentists 2021

Atlanta Parent asked our readers – moms and dads just like you – to nominate the best dentists, orthodontists and oral surgeons around Atlanta.

Here are more in-depth profiles on highlighted dentists from our February issue.

Pediatric Dentists
Orthodontists
Family/General Dentistry

Atlanta Parent readers have also nominated the best health professionals, pediatricians, OB/GYNs, and more from around Atlanta. Click here for those listings.

Pediatric Dentistry

Bogdasarova, Karina, DDS, MS

Wonderland Pediatric Dentistry, PC, Roswell
“Dr. Karina is a phenomenal dentist. Her team is very child-friendly and truly cares about each and every patient.” – Sergi P.

Christianson, Judy, DDS
Brookhaven Children’s Dentistry
“Both of my children love to see her; her staff makes even nervous patients feel comfortable. Lots of toys and even a video game in the waiting room!” – Julia G.

Dhawan, Hemant, DMD
Crabapple Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Cumming Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
“Dr. Dhawan is excellent with kids. We appreciate being updated on my daughter’s braces after every appointment.” – Jean M.

Hassan, Zeyad, DMD
A to Z Pediatric Dentistry
“A rock star dentist! He raps and sings with the kids. There are iPads in the waiting room, which the kids love.” – Dan R.

Nia, Azi S., DMD
Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
“Nia Dentistry is amazing! They allow you to go in the back with your child. The younger kids see her in a room with toys and a TV playing their favorite show.” – Carissa O.

Rose, Ida L., DDS
The Children’s Dental Group, Lithia Springs
“Dr. Rose is so sweet, personable, and knowledgeable. The media screens and aesthetics make my daughter feel comfortable. We never feel rushed and look forward to going to the dentist!” – Amber W.

Schwartz, Aaron, DDS
Schwartz Dentistry for Children
“The office is so cool! It’s a completely inviting atmosphere for children, and my two boys absolutely love going to their dental visits!” – Julia M.

Orthodontics

Ceneviz, Caroline, DMD
Chamblee Orthodontics
“Dr Ceneviz, is the friendliest orthodontist! I know she genuinely cares about her patients from what I see when I bring my daughter in. Her office hours are great and the office is cozy and comfortable.” – Celene J.

Francis, Oral C., DDS, DC
Suwanee Orthodontics, Decatur Orthodontics
“Friendly staff, fun office, excellent hygienists and dentist who take time with each patient and truly care about the kids and their oral health.” – Kerrie R.

Yavari, Javid, DMD
Crabapple Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Cumming Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
“Dr. Yavari is great with kids and loves what he does. I highly recommend him when it’s time for your kid to get braces!” – Shelly D.

Family/General Dentistry                

Kurtzman, David, DDS
David Kurtzman DDS, Marietta
“Dr. K has great communication skills and listens effectively. My son has special needs and Dr. K was really patient and made him comfortable about his procedure.” – Valerie W.

PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY

Bates, Faith, DDS, Pediatric Dentistry of Vinings, Smyrna
Bogdasarova, Karina, DDS, MS, Wonderland Pediatric Dentistry, PC, Roswell
Bradberry, R. David, DMD, Bradberry Pediatric Dentistry, Marietta
Camp, Lanesha, DDS, Decatur Camp Kids Pediatric Dentistry, Decatur
Cassinelli, Aimee, DMD, Peak Pediatric Dentistry, Atlanta
Christianson, Judy, DDS, Brookhaven Children’s Dentistry, Atlanta
Dhawan, Hemant, DMD, Crabapple Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics
Eaton, Jonathan J. DDS, MS, Eaton Pediatric Dentistry, Decatur
Hassan, Zeyed, DMD, A to Z Pediatric Dentistry, Atlanta
Healey, Michael, DDS, Avalon Children’s Dentistry & Orthodontics, Alpharetta
Hicks, James, DMD, MS, Pediatric Dentistry of Johns Creek, Johns Creek
Hogan, Rhonda C., DMD, Rhonda C. Hogan Pediatric & Adolescent Dentistry, Suwanee
Howard, Jaha, DDS, MS, A+ Pediatric Dentistry, Atlanta
Jackson, Jonathan M., DMD, Pediatric Dental Specialists of Atlanta, Sandy Springs
Jamieson, William, DMD, William Jamieson Pediatric Dentistry, Dunwoody
King, Danny, DDS, Children’s Dental Zone, Johns Creek
Kong, Jeni, DDS, Apple Tree Pediatric Dentistry, Lawrenceville
Leach, Michael J., DDS, Michael J. Leach, DDS, Alpharetta
Lee, Susan, DMD, Children’s Dentistry, Atlanta
Madhiwala, Priya, DMD, Children’s Dental Village, Roswell
McKellar, Christina, DDS, Homegrown Pediatric Dentistry, Jonesboro
Mian, Alia, DMD, Children & Teen Dental of Georgia, Cumming, Hamilton Mill, and Suwanee
Millkey, Mary, DDS, Millkey Way Pediatric Dentistry, Atlanta
Nia, Azi, DMD, Nia Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Canton and East Cobb
Powell, Wesley D., DDS, MS, Elite Smiles Chastain Pediatric Dentistry, Atlanta; Dentistry for Children and Teens, Atlanta
Rose, Ida L., DDS, The Children’s Dental Group, Lithia Springs
Schwartz, Aaron DDS, MPH, Schwartz Dentistry for Children & Young Adults, Smyrna
Shotwell, Nikky, DDS, Kids Dental Studio, Atlanta
Tewogbade, Adesegun, DMD, First Class Pediatric Dentistry, Snellville
Washington, Keysra M., DDS, Mini Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, Conyers

ORTHODONTICS

Ceneviz, Caroline, DMD, Chamblee Orthodontics, Atlanta
Francis, Oral, DDS, Decatur Orthodontics, Decatur
Vu, Anna, DMD, MS, Pediatric Dentistry of Johns Creek, Johns Creek
Yavari, Javid, DMD, MS, Crabapple Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics, Alpharetta

FAMILY/GENERAL DENTISTRY

Carter, Bruce E., DMD, Transforming Smiles, Lawrenceville
Ebeling, Christen, DMD, East Cobb Premier Dental, Marietta
Homer, Patricia, DDS, Cherished Family Smiles Dentistry, Stockbridge
Kurtzman, David, DDS, David Kurtzman DDS, Marietta
Reilly, Susan, DDS, Reilly Dental, Marietta
Reilly, Thomas, DDS, Reilly Dental, Marietta
Shelnutt, Wesley, DMD, Shelnutt Family Dentistry, Suwanee

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COVID-19 and Family Life: Advice on Staying Healthy and Masks

With month 11 of the COVID-19 pandemic approaching, Atlanta Parent checked back in with Dr. Andi Shane, a mother and a pediatric infectious diseases expert at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta and Emory University.

There’s a lot of misinformation about vaccines. What should people understand about vaccines?

Andi Shane

In general, vaccines are the best tools we have against preventing infection. Along with hand hygiene, vaccines have been an important contributor to public health. Vaccines are an excellent way to create population immunity (or resistance to having disease) without having the actual disease. Vaccines provide a non-infectious way to make the body think that it has had an infection, so the next time it sees a bacteria or virus, it automatically mounts an immune response. Vaccines are a safe way to get our own immune system to be a fighter for us.

COVID-19 vaccines have been shown to be safe and to result in very high levels of immunity, with few side effects. The short time period in which COVID-19 vaccines were developed and studied is the result of a huge investment of time and money in partnerships between scientists, industry and government. The COVID-19 vaccines that are currently available build on technology that has been known for about 30 years. Up to now, there has not been an opportunity to use this technology; however, the virus that causes COVID-19 is one that this technology is very effective in combatting.

What would you tell people who are nervous about the COVID-19 vaccine?

I am more nervous about the COVID-19 disease. Although most infections in children are mild, there are rare complications that can occur 3-4 weeks after mild COVID-19 in some children. Widespread vaccination offers us the best chance to protect ourselves from infection. With time, as more people become vaccinated, we will likely see lower rates of transmission in the community. Without vaccination, we will continue to see high rates of illness and death. Since COVID-19 vaccines are currently available only to certain groups of people, we need to have as many people as possible who can get vaccinated do so.

Right now, we have two vaccines. One vaccine was tested in people ages 16 and older and one in people ages 18 and older. There will be clinical trials opening soon for older children and young adolescents to understand how the vaccine protects in these age groups. Like the trials in adults, there will be extensive efforts to make sure that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and work well in children.

Quarantine may be tough on some kids who haven’t gotten to hang out with their friends in a long time. What are your thoughts on meeting up for outdoor play, such as a hike or at the playground?

The surge in cases is due to the fact that people gathered over the holiday season. We know that shared time with people who you do not live with results in transmission. Increased risk is associated with activities in which people are less than six feet apart and unmasked. Indoor activities are more likely to result in transmission than outdoor activities. There are gradations of what is safe. The least risk of transmission is to stay apart and interact only with your own household, do everything virtually, and wear masks when you leave your home. Next, would be to get together in small pods or classroom settings in schools, adhering to masking, distancing and hand hygiene. Also, if you choose to get together in small groups, keep the number to less than 10 (adults and children), remain masked, use hand hygiene before and after interacting, avoid eating and drinking, and try to remain outside. Although children may have symptoms of illness for reasons other than COVID-19, we must assume that every symptom could be related to COVID. Therefore, children with symptoms should not join playgroups or attend gatherings.

What is your advice for helping kids or adolescents who are having a hard time behaviorally or developmentally?

The lack of interaction and socialization is challenging at every age, but especially challenging for adolescents. Younger children may “act out” or regress, as they know that they are not in daycare or school, they know they’re not seeing their grandparents, they know this is not normal. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta has put resources together to address some of those challenges. The American Academy of Pediatrics also has resources for parents and adolescents. Children and adolescents who are feeling depressed, anxious or sad may benefit from a visit to their pediatrician. Many counselors and therapists are conducting video consultations and appointments, and your child or teen’s pediatrician can help connect you to these resources.

What advice would you give to parents that are wondering about spring birthday parties or holding birthday get-togethers outdoors?

It’s hard to predict the future. Right now, the healthcare system is challenged. As more people become vaccinated, we are hopeful that fewer people will be ill. Everything is a balance. Smaller outdoor gatherings with less than 10 people who are completely asymptomatic, wearing masks and who may be together in school may be a way to balance socialization and remaining safe. Be creative about activities that don’t involve close physical contact or air exchange. If food is served, choose individual servings, such as cupcakes rather than a cake, no candles or bubbles, and seat children more than six feet apart.

Looking to the future, what would you tell families who are trying to determine their summer vacation or summer camp plans?

As above, it is hard to predict the future. I would recommend that families make plans that can be altered if needed. Prior to the holidays, Georgia’s rates of COVID were decreasing; however, after many people traveled both into and out of Georgia, rates of COVID have soared in our community. There are many opportunities for transmission of the virus when you interact with people you are not around every day. Testing before traveling tells you if you have evidence of the virus that causes COVID-19 at the time that you are tested, but it does not tell you if you will have the virus in your nose at the time that you socialize with family members. Many people have received a false sense of security by testing “negative” before traveling and have developed COVID-19 after traveling and interacting with others outside their homes.

Summer camps that are adhering to public health guidance may be an option for children. However, it is important to remain flexible and to balance and weigh options of your family’s individual situation and needs.

What can parents do to continue to protect their children?

Continue to enforce masking, hand hygiene and social distancing. Even though we have seen very, very low rates of influenza, make sure that everybody in your family receives a flu vaccine. Make sure that all of your child’s immunizations are up to date and that your child continues to receive care from your pediatrician. Most importantly, make sure that your child stays home when they have symptoms of an illness.


From our August 2020 issue:

What is your advice to parents who choose to send their kids back to a physical school vs. parents who choose online schooling or homeschooling?

The infectious disease community would recommend choosing one or the other. If your children are going back to school, we want to keep all the same children together as much as possible. That way, there’s less chance of transmission. When you mix groups, transmission is more likely to occur. Try to commit to a decision, which seems very challenging for a parent to do now, but it makes the most sense. Whatever is chosen, it should be something parents can adhere to most of the time.

Some schools are doing half-days or every other day, which could be more difficult. When children are not in school, they may be mixing with other peers outside of school, with the potential for transmission. When they’re engaged in school-related activities, there’s a structure for what children have to do every day and that is more likely to keep infections down. When there’s free or unsupervised time, that makes it more challenging. If they choose online, that choice should be respected, and they should maintain it throughout the school term, for all the reasons we have talked about. When the child goes outside of the home or interacts with other children, make sure they’re masking and social distancing, and try to keep the same group of children the child socializes with together.

How can parents distinguish between COVID-19 and common colds?

Be attuned to your children’s symptoms. It can be hard to know what is a regular cold and what might be more involved than that. Use symptoms to decide whether or not to keep the kids at home. If the child has a temperature or fever, keep them at home. Have them remain at home for 24 hours to see if symptoms progress. If a child has had contact with someone with known or suspected COVID-19, they should follow public health guidance and remain isolated at home. They might not have the COVID-19 infection; we’re coming up on the respiratory virus season, and they could have influenza, cold viruses, other viruses. A symptom-based approach is the optimal way to determine the child’s illness.

Any other health tips?

As we’re entering the respiratory virus season, it is very, very important for parents
to make sure that they and their children receive their flu vaccines as soon as it becomes available. It’s not perfect, but it does the best it can at preventing and decreasing severity, hospitalizations and death. It’s something parents can actively do to protect children and themselves. Make sure children are up to date on other vaccines, and get up to date before they go back to school. Whether or not they go back to school, they’re going to interact with other people, and vaccinations help prevent  other infections.

Many parents feel overwhelmed at their inability to control much during the COVID-19 pandemic, but hand hygiene, masks, social distancing and immunizations are things you can actively do to prevent diseases.

What would you tell parents who are trying to determine if it really is safe for them to go out and about, even with the new protocols in place?

Attractions have done a nice job adhering to guidance from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health. At most places, you have to make an appointment or sign up, they’re limiting the number of people, and children older than age 2 wear a mask. Outdoor attractions are a little different – there’s less chance of transfer.

Are playgrounds, pools, splash pads and waterparks safe?

In those situations, there’s not normally a ticket or reservation. Parents have to use
their own judgement. The recommendation is to limit gatherings to less than 10 people, which is a good marker for families to use. Assess how crowded a playground is, and if it gets more crowded, remove the child. Use appropriate hand hygiene before and after. Children can adhere to guidelines differently. If they’re not able to mask or not able to follow directions, these attractions may not be a good idea at this time; consider other locations.

What advice do you have for a summer vacation?

In general, driving is less likely to bring people together with unknown people. It’s a safer way of getting from location to location. If you stop at a rest stop or a restaurant, hand hygiene, social distancing and masks are necessary.

Try to avoid large crowds, so parents can control who they and their children interact with. It’s really important to bring down the amount of activities a child will participate in. This guidance goes to parents, too. Parents socialize at night after the kids have gone to bed, and being in public places, bars or venues with large numbers of people who can’t social distance is more likely to cause transmission. Being with the same group of people in an uncrowded environment is the best way to think about a family vacation.

How should children properly wear a mask?

Use cloth face masks, and I encourage families to have multiple masks. Washing once a day is reasonable. If it gets soiled, wet or comes into contact with the secretions of someone else, you should replace the mask at that time, so it might be a good idea for parents to have several on them. It has to cover both the nose and the mouth at the same time. We’re seeing a lot of people who are only covering their mouth, but these are the two parts of the face you want to cover. Make sure it fits well, and you want kids to be comfortable in it. They may need to wear it inside the home to get used to what it feels like. Remind them not to touch the mask. Practice hand hygiene before and after taking the mask off or replacing it. If kids are at an appropriate age, make it into a game: wearing a mask can make you like a superhero, like Batman.

I have a 6 1/2-year-old. He went to camp with a Star Wars mask and came home with a Batman mask. I asked him what happened to his mask, and he said he and his friend traded at the end of the day. Remind them to wear their own mask and not to exchange them.

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Immune Boosting Foods to Keep Your Family Healthy

Keeping kids’ bodies strong with a healthy diet can give them an edge against the germs they encounter in everyday life. Here are eight superfoods to add to your meal repertoire, along with kid-friendly serving suggestions.

Berries

This one isn’t a hard sell with kids. Berries are bursting with bioflavonoids, the plant chemicals that help to activate the immune system and work as antioxidants to prevent cell damage. The darker the berry, the higher the bioflavonoids. But all berries are good for you; one cup of strawberries contains the same amount of Vitamin C as a cup of orange juice. Best of all, it’s been proven that frozen blueberries retain all of the good vitamins and chemicals, so you can benefit all winter long. Add berries to cereal, smoothies or yogurt.

Eggs

Eggs got a bad reputation when they were suspected of raising cholesterol. More recent studies, however, show that eating 6-12 eggs per week in the context of a healthy diet doesn’t raise the risk of heart disease. You can feel good about eating eggs, especially since they’re full of high-quality protein. They’re rich in B vitamins, choline, selenium, Vitamin A, iron and phosphorus, and they contain two antioxidants that protect eye health: zeaxanthin and lutein. Hard boiled eggs are great for snacking, or whip up an omelet for breakfast or dinner.

Yogurt

Yogurt containing “live or active cultures” (listed on the label) offers probiotics, reducing inflammation linked to viral and gut issues. The other immunity boosting properties of yogurt come from magnesium, selenium, Vitamin D and zinc. The healthiest yogurt is the plain, unsweetened type with active cultures. Mix in berries to sweeten plain yogurt, or try a commercial brand with probiotics such as Activia.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts are powerhouse foods. Almonds, for example, contain Vitamin E, an antioxidant which helps fight off infection. Nuts and seeds are not only yummy, they offer an array of phytochemicals and minerals. Nuts have different nutritional profiles, so consume a variety to give your body what it needs. Nuts are great as a yogurt topper or just for snacking.

Peanuts

Despite the name, peanuts are actually legumes. Peanuts contain manganese as well as iron, magnesium, niacin, folate, copper, phosphorus, thiamine and selenium. If PB&J is your kids’ jam, you’ll get better nutrition from natural peanut butters instead of those with added sugars. Due to the recent rise in peanut allergies, parents should talk with their pediatrician about when to introduce peanuts into their child’s diet.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are worthy of the dinner table year-round, with numerous health benefits. Their bright color comes from carotenoids, an antioxidant. Just one sweet potato contains 400% of the daily requirement of Vitamin A, as well as Vitamins B, C and D, and many good-for-you minerals. To get your kids to eat this goodness, try serving a baked sweet potato with butter and brown sugar instead of a regular baked potato, or offer mashed sweet potatoes as a side dish.

Broccoli

Mom was right – broccoli is good for you. Broccoli contains Vitamin C, B, D, E and K as well as folate. More importantly, broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which protect cells from DNA damage  and have been shown to have antibacterial, antiviral and even anticancer effects. Other vegetables in this family include cauliflower, cabbage, bok choy, arugula, brussels sprouts, kale, radishes and turnips. Try enticing kids with raw broccoli or cauliflower served with a yummy dip or steam it and top with cheese. Roasting vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and brussels sprouts brings out their sweet flavor.

Red Bell Peppers

These brightly colored veggies taste sweeter than their green counterparts, making them more palatable for kids, and they contain three times more vitamin C than oranges. Vitamin C is thought to boost white cell production, the cells that fight infection. Red bell peppers also pack a healthy amount of beta carotene, which is good for eye health. Serve raw with a dip or sauté them in a stir fry.

-Tiffany Guerzon

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