Q. Tell us about your career.
A. I didn't decide to become a dentist until my sophomore year as an undergrad, although I always knew that I loved science and interacting with people. Dentistry is an amazing career that merges art, science, business, and quite frankly vanity. I love "making over" a smile and feel a true sense of accomplishment when I can see a before and after photo. Orthodontics is a wing of dentistry that typically caters to the willing patient who is excited to see and work together on their smile's progress. I also think adolescents are interesting people overall, although half of my patients are adults. I went to Boston College ('01), Harvard School of Dental Medicine ('05), and the University of Florida for specialty training ('08). I opened the doors to College Park Orthodontics in December, 2008 from scratch.
Q. How did you learn about Teach-In?
A. Word of mouth and through social media. I like to ask my patients' parents what is going on at their schools and try to get as involved as possible. Living in College Park, our patients go to a variety of schools and there are always so many events to choose from. I chose Teach-In day because I felt that hearing about someone's 'real life' career would be something that I would have liked to hear about as an elementary school student.
Q. How many years have you been participating in Teach-in?
A. 4 years.
Q. What do you teach students during your visit?
A. I really try to drive home the idea that they will most likely have their teeth for another 90+ years, so it's very important to learn to take care of them now. I explain that dentures may not be in their future due to advances in water fluoridation and better home oral hygiene products. I also like to try to convey to them that what I do is fun and gives gratifying results for myself and my patients.
Q. What do you want students to remember about orthodontics after Teach-In?
A. That there are many reasons to consider orthodontics: esthetics, function, and health of the teeth.
Q. What do you enjoy about Teach-in?
A. I see some of my patients in the classroom and I love to see what their environment is like at school. I'm typically stuck in my office bubble all day and it's easy to lose sight of what their own day-to-day life entails. I feel like the more I understand about them, the better I can work with them to achieve good compliance with their braces.
Dr. Williams presented to two 5th grade classes and visited a 1st grade class at Princeton Elementary School this year.