We’re excited to present our newest editorial series, Mom About Town. In this series, we will highlight mothers in Flagstaff that are doing amazing things! From business owners to volunteers and community ambassadors we hope these interviews are encouraging and inspirational.
:: Meet Tina ::
Tell us a little about yourself, and your family:
I am a native to beautiful Arizona. My husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to move to Flagstaff in May of 2017. At that time, I joined Around the Mountain Pediatric Dentistry as a pediatric dentist. My husband does software for a consulting firm. In March of 2018, we were blessed with our sweet boy, Tucker! He has turned our world upside down in the best way, and we can’t imagine life any other way.
Share a little history behind your passion, and how you got started:
Kids are my passion! I get to work with them all day long, and chase after my own toddler when I am at home. As far as dentistry is concerned, after graduating from dental school and working as a general dentist, I found I loved working with kids! I consider it a huge responsibility to work with children. Parents put their trust in their children’s doctors to provide the best care. I wanted to be certain that I was the most qualified to care for children. This is what inspired me to further my education, and become a pediatric dentist. Pediatric dentists go to an extra 2-3 years of school (residency) after dental school, learning specifically about how to take care of children. I applied and then completed my pediatric dental residency in Massachusetts. This was the best decision ever— and I haven’t looked back!
What’s a bit of insight you would share with yourself if you could go back in time?
You never know what the future holds, but it has a funny way of working out! My husband and I wanted to start a family for some time, but it took moving to Flagstaff to make that happen! It worked out the way it was supposed to!
What motivates and inspires you?
I’ve been working with kids for the last ten years, and I became a mother 2 years ago. This gave me a whole new perspective! Being a mother has motivated me to be a better pediatric dentist. Now, I truly understand how deeply parents love and care for their children.
For example, a couple weeks after having my son, I came into the office after hours for an emergency while on maternity leave. A patient fractured his front permanent tooth in an accident and was in pain. Both the patient and his mother were flustered and stressed. I remember when he got up in the dental chair, I thought to myself— this little boy is this mother’s baby! Her most precious gift! At that moment, pediatric dentistry changed for me. I realized that I have been blessed with the opportunity to care for children— other parent’s babies. This lens of motherhood has made me much more empathetic. I strive do my very best to make each child’s experience wonderful, just as I would want for my son.
What is the most rewarding part of what you do?
By far the most rewarding part of my job is when one of my patients is proud of themselves after a visit!! When a patient’s face lights up with pride and joy, this makes my heart happy!
What is the most challenging thing you encounter as a mother pursuing her passions?
At Around the Mountain Pediatric Dentistry, we serve children from all over Northern Arizona! We have dental offices in Flagstaff, Pinetop-Lakeside, and Cottonwood. All the doctors in our practice travel to these offices. Every month I travel for work, and my family travels with me! As parents with young children can attest, it feels like we take the whole house and kitchen sink with us wherever we go. Now that my son is getting older, we are getting better at the packing process, but it is still challenging! We have been known to misplace several pairs of shoes and maybe even a pack ’n play!
What advice would you share with another mother starting her own journey to follow her passion?
Never, ever give up! I feel like the journey never ends, so it is important to learn along the way and have fun while doing it!
What are some of your Favorites?
Coffee / Tea Spot — Steep Leaf Lounge
Date Night Activity — Date night with an 2 year old? Does watching Netflix together count?!
Family-Friendly Outing — All Flagstaff Parks! And we love a quick visit to Oak Creek!
Favorite Form of Self-Care — Love Headspace Southside Salon!