At Pediatric Dental Associates Dental Group, we create an environment where your child feels safe and comfortable—and can even have fun! We work to ensure that our young patients have a positive experience, from their very first visit.  Our pediatric dentists have specialized training in the treatment of infants, children and adolescents. Together with our staff members we make children feel at ease in the dental office.

We have been working with children and their families in Winchester and Reading for 40 years. Originally a strictly pediatric dentistry group, we have been able to expand our practice to orthodontics and general dentistry thanks in large part to the loyalty of our patients. We are proud to serve Boston-area families from infancy to adulthood.

Contact us today to set up an appointment for your child!

Meet The Doctors

Joseph P. O'Donnell, DMD, MS

Dr. Joseph P. O'Donnell is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Following his graduation from dental school, Dr. O'Donnell completed his specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the Tufts–New England Medical Center and Tufts University where he received his Master's Degree and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor Society, and Sigma Xi, the honorary research society.

Dr. O'Donnell is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a Fellow of the International College of Dentists, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He is also a past president of the College of Diplomates of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. In addition to his practice in Winchester and Reading, Dr. O'Donnell has served as Chief of Pediatric Dentistry at the Tufts–New England Medical Center and Dentist in Chief of the Tufts Dental Facilities for persons with special needs. Dr. O'Donnell is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. O'Donnell's outside interests include creative writing.  He is the author of three mystery novels, the main character of which is the basis for a screenplay that is being made into a feature motion picture.  He and his wife, Ronney, are also the proud parents of two grown children and a wonderful granddaughter.

Gary Warrington, DMD

A graduate of the University of Maine, Dr. Gary Warrington completed his dental school education at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine where he graduated magna cum laude. He also received awards for clinical achievement in both Pediatric Dentistry and Endodontics and was inducted into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor Society.

Following his graduation from Tufts, he completed a two-year residency in pediatric dentistry at the Tufts-New England Medical Center.

In addition to all aspects of pediatric and adolescent dentistry, this program offered experience in hospital pediatric dentistry, dental care of medically compromised children and behavior management techniques. Dr. Warrington is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and past president of the Massachusetts Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. In addition to his practice in Winchester and Reading, Dr. Warrington has a faculty appointment as a pediatric dentist at Tufts and is a staff member of the Tufts Dental Facilities for persons with special needs.

Geraldine C. Garcia-Rogers, DMD, MS

Dr. Geraldine Garcia-Rogers –“Dr. Gigi” – is a Wildcat (BS, Villanova University), Jumbo (DMD, Tufts University School of Dental Medicine), and Wolverine (MS, University of Michigan – Ann Arbor). She was born and raised in New York (and stays neutral when it comes to Red Sox vs. Yankees and Patriots vs. Giants), but has lived in Massachusetts since 1997. She and her husband have two boys and are busily enjoying their lives together.

Dr. Gigi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and Fellow of the International College of Dentistry. She is an active member of the Massachusetts Dental Society, having served on the Leadership Task Force, the Council on Dental Practice and the Executive Committee of the Middlesex District Dental Society. In 2011, she received the William McKenna Volunteer Hero Award for her service to the dental society. Dr. Gigi is on staff at the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton, MA, and at the Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton, MA.

Dr. Gigi is also a leader in her community, serving as a member of the Chamber of Commerce, as an advisory board member of the family religious education programs at her church, and as a past member of Rotary Club and the executive committee for Project Stretch, a non-profit dental organization serving those without access to care. When she is not busy working, Dr. Gigi enjoys volunteering at her kids’ school, driving her kids to their many activities, and jamming with her garage band, “7 or 7”, on keyboards, guitar and vocals.

Sonia J. Wu, DMD

Dr. Sonia J. Wu is a graduate of Cornell University where she received her Bachelor of Science degree. She received her dental degree from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. Following her graduation from dental school, Dr. Wu completed a two-year residency program in pediatric dentistry at the Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. While in New York, Dr. Wu also served as a Clinical Instructor in Pediatric Dentistry at New York University.

Dr. Wu has been active in community service projects, having provided dental education and screening for children of underserved communities and Headstart, and has worked with the Special Smiles program of the Special Olympics. Dr. Wu has also made a research presentation to the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a member of that organization. She is also a member of the American Dental Association.

Nicole (Cuff) Harrington, DMD

Dr. Nicole (Cuff) Harrington, was born and raised in Winchester MA.  She has been a life-long patient of PDA and can proudly say her experiences have inspired her to become a Pediatric Dentist.

Dr. Nicole  is a graduate of Stonehill College where she earned  her Bachelor of Science degree  with a major in Biology and was captain of the varsity women’s lacrosse team.  Dr.  Nicole received her dental degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. While at Tufts, she earned Tufts Merit Scholarships for outstanding academic performance and received the senior award for Clinical Excellence in Pediatric Dentistry. Upon graduation from dental school, her academic honors included magna cum laude and induction into Omicron Kappa Upsilon, the National Dental Honor Society. Dr. Nicole completed her residency in pediatric dentistry at the University of Connecticut School Of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Nicole is a board certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry, a member of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, American Dental Association, and Massachusetts Dental Society.  In 2014, Dr. Nicole served as the Chair to the Middlesex District and was awarded the 10 Under ten award by the Massachusetts Dental Society to honor her significant contributions to the dental profession, the community, and organized dentistry.

Dr. Nicole currently resides in Reading MA with her husband Josh, sons Tyler and Drew, and dog Brinley. She enjoys the opportunity to provide dental care to children of the communtiy where she grew up and also of the town where she currently lives.

Matthew D. Freitas, DMD

Dr. Matthew D. Freitas was raised in Chelmsford, MA. While in high school, he won state championship in both diving and pole vaulting. He is a graduate of Brown University where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in neuroscience and competed on the varsity swimming and diving team. At Brown he was awarded a teaching and research assistantship scholarship in neuroscience and earned the scholar athlete award. Dr. Matt received his dental degree from Tufts University. While at Tufts, he focused his training in pediatric dentistry and completed specialized training in the treatment of cleft lip and palate.

Dr. Matt obtained his post-graduate specialty training in pediatric dentistry as chief resident at the Lutheran Pediatric Dentistry Specialty Program in Providence, RI. He also completed specialized training in presurgical treatment of cleft lip and palate at New York University. During his residency he was on the cleft team at Hasbro Hospital in Rhode Island, providing presurgical nasoalveolar molding (NAM) for infants with clefts. Dr. Matt is currently treating patients on the cleft team at Tufts.

Dr. Matt is a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry. He is a member of the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and the Massachusetts Dental Society.

Dr. Matt currently resides in Sudbury, MA with his partner, son, and their two goldendoodle dogs. He has run both the Chicago and Boston Marathons. He enjoys spending time with his son, long-distance running and cooking.

About Pediatric Dentistry

We are a group of pediatric dentists who have received two-to-three additional years of training beyond dental school. We have an understanding of child psychology, behavior control, growth and development and offer the latest techniques in dental and orthodontic care for infants, children and adolescents.

Our dental assistants and other staff members have also been specially trained to work with young patients, helping to make your child’s visit to our office a positive experience.

Our Philosophy

We nurture trusting relationships with our young patients, and we emphasize education and prevention as the cornerstones of good oral health.

A healthy smile starts with the first tooth! We see our youngest patients beginning around their first birthday, when we begin teaching them (with help from mom and dad) good oral hygiene practices that will last throughout their lifetime.

We know prevention is key—and we teach that. Each checkup includes a trip to our on-site “prevention center,” where we teach children about tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing. We also provide parents with recommendations and advice about the use of topical fluorides, sealants, proper diet and healthy foods to promote good oral health.

First Visit

At Pediatric Dental Associates, we are committed to making your child feel safe and comfortable from the very first visit. Our office is specially designed to provide a warm, friendly atmosphere for children. We even offer seating for parents in exam rooms to help young children feel more at ease. Our doctors and staff work together to develop a special relationship with each family.

You can help prepare your child for the first visit by telling him that we will “count” his or her teeth and teach both of you how to clean them. You might also show him or her some photos of our facilities.

During your child’s visit, we will perform a full examination of the teeth and jaw, evaluate your child’s bite and clean their teeth. If necessary, we will perform X-rays, but we are very conservative with X-rays for our pediatric patients, and we use equipment that provides maximum safety.

We will explain all procedures in easily-understood language before we begin—no surprises for your child (or you). Following the exam, we will discuss your child’s current and future treatment needs with you and answer your questions.

FAQ

What age should my child go to his or her first dental visit and what can we expect?

To prevent dental problems, you should make your child’s first appointment when the first tooth appears, or no later than his/ her first birthday. At this appointment, we will examine your child’s teeth, go over oral hygiene (toothbrushing/ home care), diet, tooth eruption, and other anticipatory guidance topics. If possible, a dental cleaning will also be completed.

What should I use to clean my baby’s teeth?

A soft bristled toothbrush with a small head specifically for an infant will help remove bacteria that can lead to cavities. You should brush your infant’s teeth at least once a day preferably at bedtime.

Are baby teeth really important?

Primary or “baby” teeth are important for many reasons. Not only do they help children speak clearly and chew naturally, they also aid in forming a path that permanent teeth can follow when they are ready to erupt.

How often does my child need to come for a check-up?

Typically, a child should come in for a check-up every six months in order to prevent cavities and other dental problems. However, in some cases this may vary and is determined by their individual needs.

What should I do if my child falls and knocks out a permanent tooth?

The most important thing to do is to remain calm. Then find the tooth. Hold it by the crown rather the root and try to reinsert it in the socket. If not possible, put the tooth in a glass of milk and call our office immediately.

How can parents help prevent tooth decay?

Parents should take their children to the dentist regularly, beginning with the eruption of the first tooth. Then, we can recommend a specific program of brushing, flossing, and other treatments for parents to supervise and teach to their children. These home treatments, when added to regular dental visits and a balanced diet will help give your child a lifetime of healthy habits.

Where can I learn more about children's oral health?

 

Source: American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry

Checklist for New Parents

Are you a new parent with questions about dental care for your infant or toddler? We've prepared a helpful checklist for new moms and dads to help you understand what to expect and how to care for your baby's new teeth.

  1. Schedule an initial visit with our office by the child's first birthday.
  2. Avoid using a baby bottle with milk, formula or juice as a pacifier, or putting the infant to bed with a bottle.
  3. Clean in the infant's mouth, gums and newly erupted teeth with a soft cloth or gauze pad after feedings
  4. When several baby teeth have erupted, begin brushing teeth with a brush designed specifically for infants.
  5. When the child will accept toothpaste, begin using a "pea-size" amount of fluoridated toothpaste with each brushing.
  6. Make the most of fluoride. Maintaining appropriate levels of fluoride helps developing teeth grow strong.
  7. Care for baby teeth as you would for permanent teeth. Healthy baby teeth lay a strong foundation for incoming permanent teeth.
  8. For infants and children who persist in non-nutritive sucking, the pacifier is preferred over the thumb or finger. Pacifier habits are generally discontinued more easily and at an earlier age.

Teeth Eruption Chart

These pediatric teeth eruption charts will help you identify primary and permanent teeth and understand how the mouth develops during childhood and the teen years.

tooth_diagram_primary

tooth_diagram_permanent

Source: The American Dental Association

Infant Oral Health