PLATTSBURGH Its been said that when you smile, the whole world smiles with you. Whether or not thats the case, a smile at McSweeney Orthodontics, at least, does seem to be infectious. Dr. Timothy M. McSweeney and his staff have been coming up with interesting ways to keep patients and their families smiling since he established his practice on Healey Avenue in 2002. One of the main ways he has been able to achieve that is through simple bi-monthly contests for kids and adults alike. Patients are offered the chance to enter contests which run the gamut from sports contests to guessing contests and even writing contests. The objective, said officer manager Sally McSweeney, said the staff constantly strives to ensure there is a fun atmosphere for their patients. The orthodontists office is a place where you can raise your self-esteem, said Mrs. McSweeney, who is also Dr. McSweeneys wife. Its supposed to be a very happy place and it is. We have a really good time and just try to have fun. The most recent contest was a writing contest in which younger participants were asked to write a brief essay about why their parent deserved a night out. The idea was to give parents a well-deserved break, Mrs. McSweeney said. We ran the contest during May and June, during the months of Mothers Day and Fathers Day, she explained. We had a lot of entries and it was very, very difficult to choose because everyone who entered did a really, really nice job. In the end, a piece written by young Saranac resident Ben Bova was the essay that won a $100 gift certificate to a restaurant of his parents choice. Ben, who has been visiting McSweeney Orthodontics with his mother, Marcy, since early last year, said it was the first time he won a contest at the practice. I entered this contest because I think my parents deserve a night out, he said, simply. Ben sincerely wanted his dad and mom to win because he wanted us to get away by ourselves, which just doesn't happen, said Mrs. Bova, who added she and her husband, Mike, will use the gift certificate for dinner at Caf_ooney Bay. The overall experience at McSweeney Orthodontics has been one where her son has receive nothing but wonderful treatment, said Mrs. Bova. The additional incentives for children to enter contests add to the friendly atmosphere of the practice, she said, making visits even more pleasant. There is something about the spirit in the office when we hear about the contest for the month, Mrs. Bova said. Staff are excited for the patients to enter and show encouragement for each one to win. It shows a cooperative effort on the part of all staff at McSweeney Orthodontics to bring fun to each appointment. We want to use this opportunity to thank Dr. McSweeney for extending his generosity to us, she added. Dr. McSweeney, who was humbled by Mrs. Bovas kind words, said its important to provide a warm, welcoming environment for patients, including children, who may initially be apprehensive when it comes to having orthodontic work performed. We want to make this as positive as an experience for them as possible, Dr. McSweeney said of his patients. Our goal in what we take most pride in is making smiles, but a close second to that is creating a positive and fun experience from the first phone call to the last appointment. Watching the self-esteem of our patients grow is also a big bonus. The practice now has a contest in which patients can guess the cost of a backpack which sets in the office, filled with school supplies. The one guessing closest to the actual value will win the backpack. Its just fun for us to be able to do something for our patients, said Mrs. McSweeney. The fact the Bovas couldnt get over how fortunate they were makes it even more special.