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Pediatric Dentistry

A child's first visit to the dentist should be enjoyable. Children are not born with a natural fear of the dentist, but they can fear the unknown. Our office makes a special effort to use pleasant, non-frightening, simple words to describe each treatment. We want you and your child to feel at ease from the moment your family arrives at our office.

You and your family is our top priority

Here, your family and your child come first.  We promise to treat your child exactly as we would treat ours. Our practice is committed to providing you and your family with conservative, safe, gentle, affordable, high-quality dental care.

Our pediatric dentists are Dr. Ethan (Athanasios) Zavras, Dr. Christian Ford, Dr. Niloufar Moaziniya, Dr. Anna Liapaki and Dr. Stephanie Shimizu. They are all very experienced, soft spoken, gentle and caring.

The goal of Drs. Zavras, Ford, Moaziniya, Liapaki & Shimizu and the Pediatric Dentistry team at Convivial Dental is to provide high-quality pediatric dental care to families in Boston, Brookline, Newton, Needham, Dedham, Wellesley, and the greater Boston Metropolitan area, in an inviting, friendly, and comfortable environment. Our focus is on prevention. We seek to educate our patients and parents on the importance of prevention of dental decay and disease, and strive to keep our kids cavity-free.

From routine exams and cleanings to restorative treatments and orthodontics, the dental care we provide is tailored to the unique needs of growing children, teenagers and people with special needs. For patients with increased anxiety, we offer nitrous oxide and/or light in-office sedation as needed, or hospital dentistry services in affiliated hospitals.

We understand that every child is different and has a unique set of requirements for a positive experience. We will customize your child’s visits to suit his or her individual personality and needs. We also invite parents to participate in their child’s oral health, so parents are always welcome in the treatment areas. Your concerns are our concerns, and we promise to listen to and address your needs.

Start your child on the path to lifelong oral health. Contact our Chestnut Hill dental office to schedule an appointment with Drs. Baens, Zavras and our team today!

We Accept All Major Insurances

Aetna • Alliance • Altus • Assurant • Anthem • Blue Cross/Blue Shield • Cigna • Delta Dental • DentaQuest • DenteMax • Guardian • Humana • MassHealth • MetLife • Principal • TRICARE • UnitedConcordia • UnitedHealthcare • & more!

Flexible Hours For Your Busy Family

Open Weekdays & Some Weeknights 8am–7:30pm & Saturdays 8am–2pm

Getting to Know Your Teeth is Fun!

Download our Dynamite Dental Fun Kit!

First visit. The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry Recommends...

Children should visit the dentist by their first birthday. It is important that your child's newly-erupted teeth (erupting at six to 12 months of age) receive proper dental care and benefit from proper oral hygiene habits right from the beginning.

Preparing for the 1st visit

  • Please fill out the medical history form and the insurance information.
  • If your child is prescribed medications, you may choose to bring the prescription with you to show it to the doctor. 
  • Make a copy of the dental and medical insurance cards, and bring them with you.
  • If you transfer from another dental practice, please request that records and x-rays are sent via email to
  • At home, please avoid phrases such as “it is not going to hurt”, “you will not get a shot” etc. Research shows that sometimes these phrases may create stress. Instead, you may say that the “dentist may take pictures of your teeth” or “the dentist will count how many teeth you have” or “the dentist will brush your teeth”. 

When New Teeth Arrive

Your child's first primary, or “baby,” teeth will begin to erupt between the ages of six to 12 months, and will continue to erupt until about age three. During this time, your child's gums may feel tender and sore. To help alleviate this discomfort, we recommend that you soothe the gums by rubbing a clean finger or a cool, wet cloth across them. You may also choose to make use of a teething ring.

Your child's primary teeth are shed at various times throughout childhood. Permanent teeth begin erupting at age six, and continue until age 21. Adults have 28 permanent teeth (32, teeth including wisdom teeth).

Adopting Healthy Oral Hygiene Habits

As your child's teeth erupt, be sure to examine them every two weeks, looking for lines and discoloration that may be caused by decay. Remember that sugary foods and liquids can attack a new tooth, so take care that your child brushes his or her teeth after feeding or eating. We recommend brushing two times a day for optimal oral hygiene.

Brushing can be fun, and your child should brush as soon as the first tooth arrives. When a baby's tooth erupts, parents should brush the tooth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and a pea-sized amount of toothpaste. For children younger than two, do not use fluoride toothpaste unless advised to do so by your dentist or other healthcare professional. We suggest reviewing proper tooth brushing procedures with your child.

Flossing is also a part of good oral hygiene habits, and your dentist will discuss with you the right time to start flossing your child's teeth. If you notice signs of decay, contact your dentist immediately.

Preventing tooth Decay With Regular Checkups

Tooth decay is caused by sugars left in your mouth that turn into an acid, which can break down your teeth. Children are at high risk for tooth decay for a simple reason: many children and adolescents do not practice regular, good oral hygiene habits. Proper brushing and flossing routines combined with regular dental visits help keep tooth decay away.

Your child should visit the dentist every six months for regular dental cleanings and checkups. We recommend fluoride treatments twice a year along with cleanings to keep teeth their strongest. Tooth sealants are also recommended because they “seal” the deep grooves in your child's teeth, preventing decay from forming in these hard-to-reach areas. Sealants last for several years, but will be monitored at your child's regular checkups.


Should a dental emergency occur, call the office at 617-735-0800 to describe the nature of the emergency. Try to provide as many details as possible.

If an emergency happens after hours or during the weekend, you have the option to call Dr. Zavras' cell phone at 617-818-0573 or, if the emergency is serious and requires immediate attention, to visit the emergency room of a hospital with a dental department such as Boston Children’s Hospital, Massachusetts General Hospital, etc.

From our Family to Yours

Our practice is a family practice, literally. It was created by a family of highly specialized dentists, Ethan Zavras and Vicky Cartsos – Zavras, and their two sons, Jason and John.

Dr. Ethan Athanasios Zavras is a pediatric dentist and prevention specialist. Dr. Vicky Cartsos is an orthodontist. Their two sons Jason and John participate actively in the practice; they advise on patient rewards, social media strategy and content, and occasionally staff the front desk. They are also patients of the practice and they get to express (loudly at times) what they like and what we should be doing differently…

Together with Drs. Christian Ford, Niloufar Moaziniya , Anna Liapaki & Stephanie Shimizu, pediatric dentists, our hygienists Deidre, Laura and Pat, and our dental assistants Danayt, Laura, Maria, Mercedes and Michele, we welcome you to Convivial Dental!

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NEW - Virtual Visit

We are now offering appointments and consultations for pediatric dental and orthodontics virtually through the online platform This safe, reliable and HIPPA compliant technology will allow us to see you from the convenience of your home.

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