Pediatric Dentist Dr. Alissa Dragstedt's navigation

(863) 357-7338

2029 HWY 441 North

Okeechobee, FL 34972

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The Everglades Staff

Dr. Melissa Kindell, DMD Head-shot-2

Dr. Kindell, born and raised in Okeechobee, FL attended the University of Florida after high school where she received her bachelors of science and continued on to receive her Doctor of Dental Medicine. Her pure love of both dentistry and children gave her the inspiration and passion to pursue her specialty in Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Florida.

Dr. Kindell is married and has two rambunctious boys! The Kindell family resides on a large span of property where they are preparing to be the next Noah’s Ark!! Dr. Kindell has two dogs, three cats and would love to add a blue whale in the backyard, a few alligators keeping in the Everglades Pediatric Dentistry theme, and even a sloth!!

Board Certified Pediatric Dentists

What does it mean to be board certified? It means our dentist has chosen to have her clinical and diagnostic knowledge and abilities measured and recognized through stringent evaluation and critique by professional colleagues.

Nearly 70% of eligible pediatric dentists have chosen to continue on to become board certified, and in recent surveys more than half who have hospital privileges stated that certification was a requirement of those institutions.

Any time after the completion of education and specialty training, pediatric dentists  may voluntarily enter the certification process that is administered by the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry (ABPD). The ABPD, which is the only ADA-recognized certifying Board for the pediatric specialty, is led by a Board of Directors elected by the membership of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD).

Not all pediatric dentists choose to become Board-certified, however, all are welcome to join the process. Upon completion, the pediatric dentist is designated a Diplomate of the ABPD and becomes eligible to be a member of the College of Diplomates. We’re proud to say that Melissa Kindell, DMD is board certified.

Meet the Team



“We swear this is all true… kind of!” – Everglades Staff


Helen Barfoot – Office Manager Helen-Barfoot

Ms. Helen has been in the dental field for over 30 years and at Everglades since the beginning! She has two children, Matthew and Melissa. You may know Melissa better as Dr. Kindell. Having Ms. Helen as the office manager and also Dr. Kindell’s mom makes our office quite special in the extra care that is shown to each and every patient. Ms. Helen is our in house Mary Poppins! She has quite a few tricks up her sleeve to help ease any nerves little ones may have. Just don’t ask for a spoon full of sugar!

Gloria Torres – Front Desk Gloria-Torres

Ms. Gloria is the bright, smiling face you see when you first walk in our office! Gloria has worked in the dental field for 6 years and has been with Everglades for 2 years. She is married and has two sweet children. Ms. Gloria is aspiring to be a backup dancer for Pitbull. If you’re lucky you may catch her doing the salsa around the office to her favorite movies!

Erin Bennett – Front Desk / Lab Tech Erin-Kersey

Ms. Erin has been working in the dental field for about 3 years now and has been with Everglades for almost a year! She is married and has one fur child. Ms. Erin has been in training to be an auctioneer for years! Don’t be afraid to ask her to slow down, we have to do it too! She’s just so excited about you visiting our office!


Laura Cauley – Lead Assistant Laura-Cauley

Ms. Laura has been in the dental field for 4 years and with Everglades for 3 years now! Laura is married with a sassy little girl and one fur child. For many years Ms. Laura would introduce herself as Daisy Duck, and she truly believed she was the big bowed Disney character! She strived to live in Cinderella’s castle and to be friends with the ducks of Disney. To this day she still follows those ducks on Instagram! Ms. Laura is also trying to be the star of the next big animal show on tv, a new age Steve Erwin!

Ginger Whitehurst – Registered Dental Hygienist Ginger-Whitehurst

Ms. Ginger is sure to be someone you’ll remember from your visit to Everglades Pediatric Dentistry! Ginger has been working in the dental field for 20 years and has been at Everglades for 4 years! Ms. Ginger is married with two rambunctious kids. She is the most skilled woman you will probably ever meet. She is currently on the verge of breaking the Guinness book of world records for the most interesting woman in the world and the person with the most acquaintances in the world!

Stephanie Koester – Registered Dental Hygienist

Ms. Stephanie has been in the dental field for about 2 ½ years and is one of our fresh faces at Everglades Pediatric Dentistry! In her spare time Stephanie enjoys things such as feeding her horses, playing with her dogs, and participating in competitive eating contests. She aspires to compete at the Nathan’s Hot Dog eating contest on Coney Island one day and take home first prize!!

Jackie White – Dental Assistant

Ms. Jackie is new to both the dental field and our office and we couldn’t be more excited to have her join our team! Ms. Jackie decided to enter into the dental world during her last job as a physical therapist rehabilitating crocodiles with broken toes. Her last patient, Henry, started losing his teeth for no reason!! So if you ever hear Ms. Jackie say “open wide like a crocodile” you know she means it literally!

Angelica  Hernandez – Receptionist

Ms. Angelica, or Olga in her 2nd life, is one of the first bright faces you’ll meet upon entering the office! She is married with 3 beautiful children. When Angelica isn’t hard at work taking care of all her friends at the office you can guarantee she will be climbing the Swiss Alps in the ice! You could even say, the cold never bothered her anyway.

Alexa Wallace – Dental Assistant

Ms. Alexa spends her days making teeth sparkle and her nights and weekends sailing the high seas! If you look at her resume you’d be quite impressed! She has helped Peter Pan and Tinkerbell educate all the lost boys on great oral hygiene. She might have even worked on Tick Tock Croc a time or two!!

Cristina Rojas – Dental Assistant

Ms. Cristina can be found working her way around the office the same way she works her way around the US helping people. With her dog, Guera, on her horse, Dalila they travel around the country each weekend making sure every boy and girl has a bright smile on their face! Sometimes they travel with Maximus helping Flynn Rider protect the kingdom!