Meet Eunice Lee, a board-certified pediatric dentist, and owner of Smile Ark Pediatric Dentistry which opened its doors to this lovely Fairfield community in August 2022.
She is a wife and mom of two beautiful girls – Gia (2) and Mina (3 months). Yes, she was 6 months pregnant when she opened her own practice!
She planned and built this practice from scratch to provide detailed-oriented, compassionate and modern quality care to children in fun and welcoming environment. She strives to make a life-long, positive influence on kids so they can be happy and confident to take care of their oral health for the rest of their lives.
She also loves to mentor and share her experiences with future pediatric dentists as an attending faculty at Yale Pediatric Dental Residency program and holds privileges at Yale Children’s Hospital and Bridgeport Hospital.
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
I was born in South Korea and then moved to Boston and lived there until I finished dental school. I moved to Connecticut in 2012 to start my pediatric dental residency program at Yale and never left the state since then! After two years of house hunting due to this crazy market, we finally moved into our Fairfield home about a year ago. We are very happy to be here!
Tell us about your Family!
My husband Jinkyu and I have been married for 7 years. He is a partner veterinarian at Winslow Park Animal Hospital in Westport. So, I take care of human babies’ teeth and he takes care of furry babies. We have two beautiful daughters – Gia (2yo) and Mina (3 months) and two handsome cats – Leo (11) and Arang (10).
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m actually allergic to cats, but I live with them and love them so much! If you hear me sneeze sometimes it means I cuddled with them too much at home.
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
Life is not perfect. Don’t stress about small mistakes or if things go differently than as planned. Focus on building strong relationships with your children and don’t hesitate to ask for help from your family or friends! Always remember that you are not alone.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
There is so much to do within the town, especially for families with young kids – from going to beaches, parks, playgrounds, and all the events the town organizes throughout the year. We are so excited to be part of this lovely community and raise our kids here. Everyone has been very welcoming.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Since pandemic and being a mom of young little ones, I do a lot of drive up Target runs – I love that I can shop anytime at home especially at night when kids are asleep and I don’t have to waste time walking down the aisles or be tempted to buy things I did not plan to.
Tell us about your business Smile Ark Pediatric Dentistry, why you decided to start up this business?
Smile Ark Pediatric Dentistry is a brand new pediatric dental office conveniently located in Black Rock Turnpike neighborhood that we opened in August 2022. We provide comprehensive pediatric care from routine check-ups, cavity treatment, lip- and tongue-tie revision to treatment under general anesthesia. I’ve been practicing pediatric dentistry since 2014 and I truly value providing detail-oriented, personalized, and uninterrupted continuous care to my patients. I wanted to open my own practice so I could work with a team that shares the same philosophy and be able to see my own patients grow with me! Also I want to be a resource to local moms in town where I raise my own kids as well.
Why is it important to start children young at the dentist and how do you make kids feel comfortable their first time.
I believe that introducing positive and fun dental experience early is especially important to cultivate a generation of children who are motivated to take pride in their oral health and are fearless about managing it. It’s not about fixing or chasing after problems but it is all about prevention and promoting healthy habits early on.
We accept everyone as who they are. We take time to listen to not only their oral health concerns but what each kid likes to do, their favorite colors, TV shows and etc., to truly adapt to their individual’s unique needs and situations. I don’t want to be just a “dentist” in their lives. I want to make a life-long, positive influence so they can be happy and confident to take care of their oral health for the rest of their lives.
Tell us about the different services that you offer?
I am an experienced SOLEA dental laser user. SOLEA is a hard and soft tissue laser and with it I can provide anesthesia-free (needle free) cavity treatments and tongue-and lip-tie revisions. It is amazing that patients do not have to get numbed for fillings and not have to worry about numbness afterward! It is totally a game changer especially for anxious little ones!
I also enjoy seeing our special health care needs patients – such as autism and other medically compromised patients. As an attending faculty member at Yale Pediatric Dental Residency program, I have privileges at Yale-New Haven Children’s hospital and Bridgeport Hospital where I can provide comprehensive dental treatments to our special patients under general anesthesia setting.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
Give undivided attention when you are with your children. Even though you can be always with them physically but make sure they know how much you love them, care for them, and have their backs. No mom is perfect, and no kid is perfect. Try your best and hopefully one day they will appreciate your effort and what you have done for them.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My parents. As first-generation immigrants, they worked long hours but they were always there for me and supported me to be a person who I am now. Even after their retirement, they still help watching my daughters and I could have not done all of this without their continuous support.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Molto (My daughter loves their pasta)
Grab a Drink with Friends: Gray Goose
Have a Date Night: Paci
Spend time together as a Family: since we are relatively new to Fairfield, we love checking out all the different playgrounds, beaches, and parks in town. Obviously grabbing an ice cream after makes my daughter super happy. We do also love eating brunch at Chips
Outside Activities: we love playing tennis
Grab coffee: Wake Cup Coffee