First Hello Kitty-themed dental office in the US puts dent in dental phobia

TEMPLE CITY, Calif. (KABC) -- Many people, especially kids, loathe going to the dentist - but a dental office in the Los Angeles area is trying to change that with the help of a very popular animated character and her friends.

Parklane Dental in Temple City is the country's first Hello Kitty-themed dental office treating patients both young and old.

Patients can brush with My Melody, floss with Little Twin Stars and rinse with Keroppi at the offices of Dr. Eric To.

"Every room is filled with amazing characters, and I love it here," said Dr. To's daughter, Reagan.

The Sanrio decor is putting a dent in dental phobia.

"To be honest, nobody likes to go to the dentist. For the anxiety, the pain, the noises, the smell, you name it. This is something that most people will tell you," Dr. To said. "The whole purpose of this is to bring forth the environment that (is) comfortable, relaxed and of course fun."

Dr. To was inspired to open the Hello Kitty-themed office after seeing how much comfort a Hello Kitty plush doll brought his daughter when she was hospitalized for a medical procedure.

"When I was 5, I was very sick and one of my lungs collapsed and I was very scared, so my dad and mom brought me my favorite Hello Kitty doll, and Hello Kitty gave me very positive energy and enough power. And then, suddenly, I asked my dad, 'Maybe you should put on a Hello-Kitty themed dental office, so children won't be scared of going to the dentist any more. Don't you think that's a great idea?'"
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