Between time in the clinic, studying for tests, and treating patients, 10 dental students have made helping others their priority. They have utilized social media as a means of connecting with other current and aspiring dental students to learn and give advice. Only in their 20s, these “dental student influencers” below have made long-lasting impacts on others and are just getting started…
Bio: 🦷 Dental Student 🎯 Attention To Detail 📍 ATL || BOS 📚 Tufts Dental D21’ 💡Instagram Followers: 4,720
Education: Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, expected graduation 2021
Favorite procedure learned: Extractions.
Favorite product: The mirror. I’m able to show patients what I see and point certain things out they might not have seen on their own. We can go through the process together.
Tell me about your YouTube channel. Why did you start it and what’s next?
I have one YouTube channel and a video series on Instagram with my roommate, Tyrell Fridie, called @_futuredds. We wanted to create a platform to help pre-dental students. While we were going through the process, we found there was a lack of resources. We didn’t have the perspective of what it was like to be in dental school. There were no dental school influencers when we went through the application process. Our goal is to showcase our experiences and get different perspectives from students in the United States from different schools. With our series, “Your oral health matters,” we wanted to make dentistry visually fun. Dentistry can be bland; we wanted to bring excitement and fun to learning about oral health. We receive comments and direct messages every day from people thanking us for our efforts and asking us questions. It’s been a great ride.
We are currently working on a new aspect for the platform to increase community engagement, as well as continuing to foster a safe environment for pre-dental students to ask questions.
How do you balance social media and school?
Time management. Dental school taught me how much I can do in a day when I optimize my time and work efficiently. With that time, some people may enjoy playing video games. I enjoy making videos for others.
What is one piece of advice you would give to a first-year dental student?
Keep the main thing, the main thing. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in other things while in dental school. Always handle your education and studies to make that your main priority. Everything else will fall in line.
Bio: D1 @ TUSDM, Boston 🦷👩🏼⚕🐘 Real life as a Non-trad dental student, artist, wife & mother @landauuniforms ambassador 🌏💜 she/her MBA
Instagram Followers: 7,813
Education: Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, expected graduation 2024
Favorite procedure learned: Because of the pandemic, we were completely remote last semester and I’ve only done a handful of hands-on work. Being able to hold instruments is exciting and feels like I am accomplishing something.
Favorite product: My #330 Bur. It’s a bit of a workhorse, but I love it.
Back in middle school and high school in the United Kingdom, I was planning on becoming a physician. I went back to college in 2017 as a pre-med student and shadowed physicians of all specialties. It didn’t feel right. Someone suggested shadowing a dentist, and I fell in love. I loved being in the clinic, asking questions, and combining science with the arts. In a previous life, I was involved in making and selling artwork. My family and I moved to the United States in 2014, and I have dual nationality in both countries. We moved for my son’s education, for my career and my husband’s. It has been the best decision.
Do you wish you found dentistry sooner?
I was a whole different person at 21 and I see a lot of who I was in traditional dental students. In the 15 years before I entered dental school, I learned so much about myself and what I want. I learned skills you can only gain through time and experience, like how to run a team and manage a business. If I had done this at 21, I would have become a physician, which wouldn’t have been the right path for me. As a parent of three, I have gained time management skills. I wouldn’t go back and do things differently. I am who I am because of my experiences.
What inspired you to share your dental school journey?
I started to share when I was pre-med, but felt I had more to say when I got accepted to dental school. Not a lot of non-traditional students in dental or healthcare, in general, had stories like me, about a previous career and raising children. I found a lot of content and support for undergrads applying to dental school, but for those of us who weren’t playing by the rule book, I wanted to offer support and show that it’s possible.
Bio: 📍Florida Dental student
Instagram followers: 106K
Education: LECOM School of Dentistry, expected graduation 2023
Favorite procedure learned: Fixed process with crown prep. I enjoy those, because it’s a challenge, but it’s been fun to learn how to prep a tooth. It’s the most life-changing for a person; if they want veneers, the crown prep will change their smile.
Favorite product: The VPS we use. After I’m done with it, I like to put it together in a ball and bounce it around the room.
What’s one thing you wish your non-dental friends knew about dentistry?
What that struck me most is that dentistry is an art form. It’s a challenge, especially as someone who hasn’t been much into the arts. A lot of people don’t know to appreciate the art form of dentistry.
I liked healthcare because I like to help people. I chose dentistry over medicine because I get to have the best of both worlds: change lives for the better and have the option to live my life and be my own boss. I’m excited to be helping people but not be married to my trade. Without the risk of burnout, you can enjoy what you do every day.
How has social media impacted your dental school experience?
I’ve been able to connect with dental students from around the world, learn techniques, and get perspective from outside of my school, which is super valuable.
I use TikTok to share the fun side of dentistry. I am serious about dental school, but I’m also a fun person, even outside of social media. Dentistry is fun and I enjoy it – I want to show others it’s an awesome profession. I love teaching about dentistry. There is so much that people don’t know about the field. Social media has been a great way to share and connect with others.