Photos and text by Katarina Hybenova
Name: Dr. Eric Ploumis
Occupation: Orthodontist and attorney in Bushwick
Location: Stockholm St. in Bushwick
Interesting fact: He takes off his dentist coat and he becomes a lawyer dealing with legal matters of other dentists.
Why we think he’s cool: Because of his friendly orthodontic practice, community involvement and because he is makes braces look cool for teenagers. And honestly… we just love the name of his practice Yo! Braces.
“You’ll need to improve that brushing, buddy… Because this doesn’t look too good,” says doctor Eric Ploumis friendly. He is wearing a mask when leaning above a young patient in the chair. We are in his orthodontic clinic at Stockholm St. in Bushwick. The boy in the chair points to the blue color when dr. Ploumis presents him a variety of colorful rubbers to be placed in between his braces.
The boy stands up from the chair and dedicates a large grin to my camera. “Those are some cool braces!” I have to admit. “I mean Yo! Braces!”
Dr. Ploumis and his wife, Bushwick’s prominent artist Deborah Brown, came to Bushwick in 2005. They bought a house at Stockholm St. and remodeled it so that it can accommodate both an artist and a dentist: Deborah works in her studio on the 2nd floor and Dr. Ploumis has a clinic on the 1st floor.
“Thanks to my practice I am meeting different kind of Bushwick people, which is nice,” says dr. Ploumis. “Most of the patients have Medicaid.” The waiting room is full of teenagers, who are cheerful, but they don’t like to be photographed. I like the name of the orthodontic practice – Yo! Braces. It’s funny, and plays nicely with the mission of the practice: to offer fun and unique orthodontic experience, which combines personal care and high technology. Dr. Ploumis only smiles when I mention the name.
Dr. Ploumis and his wife have been largely active and supportive of the community. Yo! Braces is a sponsor of a local youth baseball team, and never misses a chance to support where needed.
Dr. Ploumis is giving me a tour of Yo! Braces. It is a busy place with several doctors and number of nurses. “Some of them live in Bushwick, others commute from elsewhere in Brooklyn.”
“My associate sits in the back.” Dr. Ploumis is also an attorney. He graduated from Pace University Law where he took evening classes. I think it is an unusual combination for a dentist to be a lawyer too. Dr. Ploumis says he wanted to broaden his knowledge, and was interested in law. Currently, he advises in legal matters to other dentists, which he, as a dentist understands the best. It is interesting how he switches from dental to legal practice; it basically takes him only to take off his white coat and walk into his office in the back of the clinic….
Tuesday People is a weekly photos-and-story series. We feature interesting Bushwick residents or people with strong Bushwick ties, who make Bushwick, the unique and awesome place.