Here’s how Brecksville Kids Dentistry is making a visit to the dentist part fun and part adventure

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If your child loves to go camping, spend time in the great outdoors or play with dogs, then Dr. Jennifer Bryk Hechko’s Brecksville Kids Dentistry is sure to make going to the dentist a fun adventure. Even nervous kids will enjoy their experience by finding comfort in Balto, the therapy dog. (Photography: Benjamin Margalit)

By Laura Briedis

From the Bichon Maltese therapy dog that greets patients and comforts them by sitting in their lap during a dental procedure to new laser dentistry that makes filling cavities virtually painless, everything at Brecksville Kids Dentistry is designed to put children at ease.

“We try to create a comfortable environment so children don’t fear going to the dentist—by making it a fun adventure,” says Jennifer Bryk Hechko, DDS, owner of the pediatric dental practice.

“It is important to build a positive experience for our young patients so they grow up with a strong foundation for excellent oral health.”

Certified by the World Clinical Laser Institute in Dallas last fall, Dr. Jen introduced laser dentistry to her practice this year. Offering a much gentler and less stressful dental experience, this advanced laser enables dentists to use minimal anesthetics or drills—and, in many cases, even none—to perform routine dental procedures.

“I now do almost 75% of dental procedures using a laser,” says Dr. Jen. “It is ideal for composite fillings, as the laser removes tooth decay with minimal disturbance of the surrounding tooth, conserving healthy tooth structure. I also use it for other treatments, such as tongue-tie release, maxillary frenum attachments and decreasing longevity of canker sores.”

This natural, water-powered instrument combines water, air and laser energy to remove tooth decay without the need for anxiety-provoking needles and the vibrating drill children often fear.

“Our teeth are partially comprised of water, and when the laser makes contact with the tooth, it engages the water molecules to cut through the tooth,” explains Dr. Jen. “Since the laser continuously sprays out water, it keeps the tooth hydrated, preventing heat and resulting in a virtually pain-free experience.”

As part of its caring, child-centric philosophy, the staff uses a tell-show-do approach to explain to children how the equipment works and make them comfortable prior to any dental procedure.

“Before using the laser, we give the patients goggles, which is their laser eyewear, and liken it to going to see a 3D movie and tell them they will hear popping noise from the laser just like when making popcorn,” she explains.

“We want to make going to the dentist fun,” says Dr. Jen. “Instead of a clinical feel in our office, we had a local artist paint a log cabin mural in the reception area and a tree dense forest leading you back to the treatment rooms that make you feel like you are camping and enjoying the great outdoors.”

“By creating a dental adventure, we instill in kids at an early age that you should not fear going to the dentist,” she adds. “And, in doing so, we are promoting proper oral health and healthy smiles.”

Celebrating its second anniversary in May, Brecksville Kids Dentistry offers preventative checkups, dental cleanings, fluoride treatments, dental sealants, fillings and crowns, tooth extractions and custom mouthguards.

“We appreciate all the support that Brecksville and all of the surrounding areas have shown us since we opened our doors two years ago,” says Dr. Jen. “We look forward to bringing more innovative technology and techniques to our patients.”

Brecksville Kids Dentistry is located at 8801 Brecksville Road, Suite 5, in Brecksville. Office hours are Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and select Fridays by appointment. For more information, call 440-838-5445 or visit