Find Orlando Family Magazine on Facebook! Follow Orlando Family Magazine on Twitter!

Where Healthy Habits Begin

So much of our personalities, fears and habits have their roots in childhood’s developmental, foundational experiences. That’s why Baptiste Orthodontics & Baptiste Dentistry for Kids are dedicated to taking all the scariness out of oral hygiene, setting up their youngest patients for a lifetime of healthy habits. 

“It’s really key to make that early experience as pleasant as possible,” says Dr. Andre Baptiste, practice founder. “I see a lot of adults whose mouths are just ruined because they had a bad experience as a child.”

But it’s not just about kids, and it’s certainly not just limited to their time in the chair: The team’s whole-patient approach extends to individuals, entire families and the communities they call home. Whether it’s speaking at local schools, participating in area events or organizing donation drives, the Baptiste team is active well beyond their Orlando, Windermere and Apopka offices.

That proactive outreach ultimately led to Baptiste Orthodontics expanding from just one location in 2009 and adding two specialties, as meeting patients—both present and potential—where they are showed Dr. Baptiste just how many underserved children were going without quality dental and orthodontic care and education, among other necessities. 

“We didn’t even realize there was a need at first, we just assumed the schools [had] everything they needed,” he says. “But it turns out that these schools really don’t have basic supplies sometimes. So once we discovered that, we realized we could fill a lot of those needs. And then when one school hears about what you’re doing, it snowballs and suddenly we’ve got 40 schools that we’re partnering with.” 

The deeper Dr. Baptiste dove into helping Central Floridians, the more he saw a need for pediatric dentists. Enter Dr. Alma Correia, whose childhood punctuated by painful and extensive dental work, adult experience as a mother wanting the best for her own children and sunny disposition made her the perfect, empathetic fit for the Apopka office. 

“I see a lot of older kids who are just going to the dentist for the first time, and then I have other kids who are scared because they may have had a previous unpleasant experience or have heard ‘scary’ things about the dentist,” she says. “Making it as fun and as friendly as we can helps gain their trust and eases them into understanding that they can have a positive dental experience.” 

Leading with a community mindset has had an undeniable effect on how the practice has evolved. For one, having three locations helps patients from all walks of life and demographics find treatment options, ensuring that everyone has access to high-quality care. Dr. Baptiste adds that they’re among very few pediatric practitioners accepting Medicaid: “People travel from really far places because we’re the only provider who’ll see them. … If we stop offering that, these people won’t have anywhere to go.”

And being so visible in the community has been invaluable in helping Drs. Baptiste and Correia take a lot of the scariness and apprehension out of going to the dentist and orthodontist. 

“When they get to know me as a person as opposed to a dentist, and then they come and see me, it makes that transition a lot easier because they know I’m here to help them, which is why going into the schools is one of my favorite things to do,” says Dr. Correia.  

It also ensure that no child falls through the cracks, as working closely together helps the doctors and their teams both communicate internally and keep a watchful eye on the children in their care to prevent issues from escalating. 

“If we can find small solutions to small problems, it’s much better than doing big work on big problems,” Dr. Correia explains.  

Not only advocating for but also modelling healthy habits are huge priorities for the practice. In addition to educating children and their caregivers about properly caring for their pearly whites, Dr. Baptiste’s Andre the Farmer/Permaculture Life initiatives underscore the importance of a lifestyle based around eating and growing healthy foods, as well as making good choices that respect our biggest community: the environment. 

“It all started with a mango tree,” he says of his social-media channels where he shares videos and tips demonstrating environmentally sustainable ways to produce food. “As I learned more about permaculture and gardening, I learned that sustainability is so important because we’re nothing if the Earth can’t sustain life.”

Whether they’re looking at the bigger picture or inside a patient’s mouth, Drs. Baptiste and Correia know the biggest impact starts with making a difference one person at a time—which is just one reason they’re both included in Orlando Family Magazine’s 2022 Top Dentists list. 

“A really good day is when a parent who says their child was afraid of the dentist can’t wait to come back and see me,” Dr. Correia says. “The relationships we form, the positive experiences that we’re able to provide are the best part of what I do.” 

“I don’t think it’s a matter so much of your skills and your talents,” adds Dr. Baptiste. “It’s how much you care, it’s how well you treat other humans, it’s how you build relationships. It’s treating people like family, not just another set of teeth.”

Baptiste Orthodontics & Baptiste Dentistry for Kids
Orlando: (407) 294-1560
Windermere: (407) 217-2927
Apopka: (407) 801-7775 |