ROSIE PIGA PIZZO
It’s hard to believe, but for some kids, going to the dentist is fun.
When they walk through the door of Bloomington Pediatric Dentistry at 477 S. Landmark Ave., kids don’t enter a sterile medical facility. Instead, they enter a giant’s castle called Flossnbrush, a fairytale world painted onto all of the clinic’s walls.
The murals are the work of artist Ruth Hester and her daughters, Cheryl Kerr and Cindi Lewis. The dentists in residence are Dr. Kyle Taylor, Dr. Tamara Gierke, and Dr. John Patangan.
The young patient’s journey begins in the waiting room, painted to look like the outside of the castle. To pass the time, kids play “I Spy,” searching the walls for the giant’s shadow, a box of floss, the tooth fairy, and other hidden surprises.
When the child’s name is called, the next stop is the hygiene room, or the giant’s kitchen, where a black cauldron is bubbling over a fire on one wall and an outside view of the castle is painted on another.
Each examining room has its own theme that children can enjoy: arctic, jungle, farm, sea life, and circus. “We tried to work in teeth wherever we could,” Hester explains, pointing out the big-toothed walrus in the arctic room. Other rooms include the giant’s toy room and the giant’s island. There’s also a waiting room for parents, known as the vegetable room.
“It really doesn’t look like a dentist’s office,” Gierke says. “It helps kids feel comfortable about coming here, and parents appreciate that.”