1. Tell me about yourself and Grin Garden Kids Dental and Ortho?
My name is Dr. Ivy Avanessian Fua and I am a Board Certified Pediatric dentist and owner of Grin Garden Kids Dental and Orthodontics. Grin Garden is a pediatric dental and orthodontic office in Burbank, CA. We have a garden themed office and focus on sustainable dental practices in every aspect of what we do. When you walk in, it does not feel, smell or look like a typical dentist office. You are transported to an outdoor park, café, and play area in our waiting room. You’re greeted by our wonderful staff and made to feel special your entire visit. Grin Garden was established in 2020 when I took over from the now retired and very cherished Dr. Stephen D. Willens, who had previously practiced in the same location for 40 years. I feel so honored to continue his legacy at Grin Garden and to be providing care to the people of Burbank and surrounding communities.
2. What services do you offer?
Grin Garden is a full service pediatric dental and orthodontic office. We see patients from birth to 21 and provide infant oral care services, preventive treatments, dental exams, cleanings, digital x-rays, white fillings and crowns, dental extractions, nerve treatments, minimally invasive dental treatment options, nitrous oxide sedation (laughing gas), in office IV sedation and more. Our Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Lauren Frisch, also sees patients for both early and comprehensive orthodontic care. We pride ourselves on offering a friendly and welcoming environment for infants, children, and teens!
3.Your tagline, “Smiles Grow Here,” is so great. How did you come up with that?
Thank you! We love our little tag line. It was created with the help from our branding company, Test Monki. When we were deciding on what my new office would look and feel like, we came up with a garden theme because I love plants and gardening; In fact, I was a Plant Sciences major at UC Santa Cruz. My grandparents instilled their passion for nature in me at a young age and it has stayed with me. I love our office theme because it makes our office feel very peaceful, not like a typical dental office. We want our patients to feel welcome and comfortable by our office furniture and décor and friendly staff. Our tagline also helps accomplish that feeling too!
4.What do you think makes your business stand out against others?
I think Grin Garden stands out from other businesses because we are a small, privately owned, female, minority business. Most of us who work here are Mothers or come from large families. I really try to make the whole dental experience, which can sometimes be not so fun, special for children and teens and love to connect with my patients and families of our patients.
5. Your website says that your office is eco-friendly. Tell us more!
One of our newest sustainable dental practices is incorporating our toothbrush recycling program! Toothbrushes aren’t easily recycled, therefore we partnered with Oral B to help keep oral health products out of the landfill. You can drop off your toothbrushes, electric toothbrush heads, toothpaste tubes and floss containers at our office anytime, no need to be a patient! We also are on our way to becoming a truly paperless office. All of our patient charts are now digital along with x-rays. We try not to give out plastic toys, instead we like to give out seed packets, pencils, notebooks, bookmarks, erasers and other fun things. During our remodel we used sustainable products such as Cortec recycled flooring, LED lighting, low VCO paint, recycled quartz countertops and upcycled our existing furniture and decor as much as possible. We buy our dental products from sustainable companies and in bulk and we use carbon neutral shipping. We are also very excited to start our own composting program on site thanks to SB1383.
- 6. What dental tips can you share with us? I’d love to share some tips.
These are things some parents may not know and things they may struggle with:
- -The first dental visit is recommended when a child develops their first tooth or by their first birthday.
- -Brushing a young child and toddler’s teeth is important for their oral health but it can be difficult for them sometimes. To effectively brush a wiggly child, have them laying down on a bed or couch, one person holds their hands on their belly and another person can brush their teeth while gently holding their head behind them.
- -For an independent toddler, let them brush their teeth first then an adult can brush their teeth standing up from behind while holding their head, there is much better control this way.
- Only a small smear of fluoride/anticavity toothpaste is necessary and no rinsing after brushing is necessary.
- -It is safe to swallow small (grain of rice or less) amounts of toothpaste.
- -If your child is in braces, try using Superfloss, platypus flossers, and a water flosser to keep cavities away!
- -Expecting mothers are encouraged to visit the dentist throughout their pregnancy, it is completely safe to do so!
7. What has been the biggest challenge running a business as a mom?
The biggest challenge has been balancing my time with family and my business. I have a constant feeling of mom guilt and it only goes away when my son is sleeping. I think since I am a new business owner, a lot of my time is going toward my business, and it feels overwhelming as a mother. I am hopeful that things will get easier on the business side soon. But I love being both!
8. What does your son think you do all day?
My son SJ is 2.5 years old and I am not sure if he knows my job title yet, but he does know I’m at “mommy’s office” when I’m working. He loves coming here so he must think my job is fun too!
9. What advice can you give to the moms out there who are starting their business?
When I took over my business, my son was 7 months old. I was a new mom and didn’t have much experience on the business side, but I knew I was going to make it somehow. It has taken a lot of sweat and tears all around, but we are still standing. I’d also say there’s never a perfect time to start a business when you’re a mom. Life is busy but we are superwomen and somehow manage to juggle everything. You can do it, find people like you that can offer guidance and encouragement!
10. What is your favorite thing about Burbank?
The sense of community and pride. I did not grow up in Burbank, and even though we visited often growing up, it wasn’t until I had my business here that I really felt it. Burbank is a city within a larger city, but you really get a small-town vibe. I love how Burbank residents support Burbank businesses and I also love all the community events and public parks!
Grin Garden Kids Dental and Ortho
3923 W Burbank Blvd.