As a child growing up in Colombia, Paola Brown’s dream was to become a model. Her parents, however, did not consider that a realistic career and encouraged her to become a doctor. She thought about it and decided that she would become a dentist. She had always had positive experiences while visiting the dentist and had naturally textbook-perfect teeth.
At age 15, Paola and her family moved to the United States, where she completed high school and then went on to college. In her first year of college she met her future husband and soon after became pregnant. At that point, becoming a dentist was not financially realistic, so her husband suggested that she become a dental hygienist. The goal was to work, save, and then follow her dream of becoming a dentist. But in hygiene school she discovered her true passion and fell in love with the profession.
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Paola graduated from college in 2015. She hopes to expand her knowledge of pediatrics and orthodontics while working a few days a week in a general practice that includes specialties such as periodontics, endodontics, prosthodontics, and oral surgery. Her future plans include returning to college to attain a bachelor’s degree in public health with the goal of teaching future dental hygienists in a clinical setting. She also hopes to expand her knowledge of laser treatment, although hygienists in her state are not yet legally allowed to use lasers. She has faith that the law will change soon, and when it does, she’ll be ready. In addition, Paola advocates for the Hispanic community in any way she can.
@PAOLA_ RDH.15 was created in 2020 during the height of the pandemic. Paola wanted to demonstrate how to practice basic oral hygiene procedures while being confined to home. She began posting videos on how to properly floss, brush, and maintain oral health during those difficult times. She received positive feedback concerning the oral hygiene instructions and also received comments on the scrubs she was wearing, her overall professional appearance, and how she was presenting herself on social media.
Paola believes that hygienists can look phenomenal, even in scrubs. She began to encourage hygienists to iron their outfits, clean their shoes, and simply present themselves to the best of their ability, “as it will shine through in everything you do.” She follows the advice of her professor who told her, “If you look good, you feel good.” As a hygiene “model” in scrubs, she has combined her original dream of becoming a model with her passion for the dental hygiene profession.
When Paola is not involved with her profession, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She’s also a bit of a foodie and likes to explore new places with family and friends. Her original interest in fashion and makeup is as strong as ever.
Paola Brown can be reached at [email protected] or @PAOLA_RDH.15. Congratulations, Paola Brown, and welcome to the RDH Community Connections (RCC) dental hygiene influencer program!
Editor's note: This article appeared in the January/February 2023 print edition of RDH magazine. Dental hygienists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.