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Dressed in a long white lab coat, Dr. Lynda Asadourian ‘09 sat in front of a rapt group of Kindergarteners and first graders. “So children,” she asked, “do we eat the toothpaste?” A resounding no echoed back along with one student who offered her definitive opinion, “No, that’s gross!”

Dr Linda Asadourian 09 Visits PG-1-3-1

For the next half hour, Dr. Asadourian treated the students to an engaging session of dentistry dos and don’ts (don’t brush in triangles – do brush in circles; along with an anatomy lesson about incisors, canines, and molars; and a read-aloud designed to make younger patients feel comfortable, confident, and safe when visiting the dentist.

Dr Linda Asadourian 09 Visits PG-1-7-1

“One of the reasons I became a pediatric dentist is because of the number of adults who are scared to see their dentist,” said Dr. Asadourian who has been visiting the Friends Academy Lower School for the last four to five years during National Children’s Dental Health Month. “I wanted to be able to change that stigma.”

Back in the classroom, Dr. Asadourian is dispensing some interesting information. “Did you know, children, that strawberries naturally whiten your teeth?” she shared. And, “If you want to have a sugary snack, pick something that will melt, like ice cream,” she added. “Also, it’s better to eat the fruit than fruit juice, but if you do have juice, drink lots of water afterward to wash away the juice.”

Dr Linda Asadourian 09 Visits PG-1-10-1

Looking back on her years at Friends – “Speaking to these first graders, I feel like I’m coming full circle because I started at FA when I was I in first grade” – Lynda says she loves being back on campus and has always carried a special sense of community from her time at Friends Academy. “As I’ve grown older it’s become even more important to me. The community I found here was an important factor in choosing my college community, Lehigh, and my dental school at Columbia,” she said.

“Children, did you know that right now you have 20 teeth but eventually you will have 32?” she asks, as she reads from My First Time at the Dentist, a tool she uses to dispel scary myths about the dentist and educate children about a dentist’s tools (“Mr. Thirsty” who sips up water and saliva), what a cavity is and what a filling feels like. “My favorite thing about being a pediatric dentist is that I get to be a big kid myself,” she says with an energetic and engaging smile.

Dr Linda Asadourian 09 Visits PG-1-6-1

In graduating from a Quaker school, Lynda has taken the mission of FA and its values and embedded them into her professional philosophy and practice. “I believe in inclusion, 1000 percent,” she stated emphatically. “Every child is different and every child has different needs. My care is very specific and personalized to each patient. Whatever makes that child comfortable… however long the appointment needs to be – I’ll go out of my way.” 

She credits her English teacher, Dr. "Doc" Sullivan, with instilling in her a work ethic that she applied to her studies and sports, both field hockey and lacrosse. "He was my mentor even though English was not my favorite subject," she said. 

Holding up two fingers she tells the ring of children seated in front of her why the number 2 is a dentist’s favorite number. “How many times do we brush our teeth?” “Two,” they shout out. “How many minutes do we brush our teeth?” “Two!” “And how many times do we visit the dentist?” (You guessed it, 2!)  

Before she wraps up, Dr. Asadourian picks a child from the audience. “Would you like to be a dentist?” she asks. Within seconds, her volunteer is dressed in her lab coat, mask, and gloves. “Now children, does this dentist look scary?” she asks as she explains the purpose of each. One more tool she uses to help kids feel comfortable about going to the dentist and perhaps, she hopes, inspire one to follow in her footsteps.

Dr Linda Asadourian 09 Visits PG-1-13-1

Photography by Alvin Caal/Friends Academy

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