We recently had a chance to talk with the Unorthodoc, also known as Dr. Patrice Smith, a Washington DC orthodontist who approaches her practice and her whole life in an unorthodox way. Dr. Smith doesn’t just spend all day making smiles, she is also an entrepreneur and nonprofit founder.
We wanted to hear more about her approach to life and of course how she thinks about air quality. So here is a little unorthodox knowledge!
Before the global Covid-19 pandemic, how did you think about indoor air quality at your practice?
Indoor air quality has always been a concern in the dental setting, with COVID-19 causing an even heightened response. By employing good hygiene practices and limiting the use of products and techniques that cause aerosols we are able to protect ourselves and our patients.
Are your patients concerned about Covid infection during the pandemic? How do you assuage their fears?
Patients are very concerned about COVID infection during this time. To alleviate their fear we follow a strict protocol of disinfection. Temperature is monitored, hand sanitizer is present in several office locations, staff is versed in prevention protocols, masks are worn at all times and we use the Molekule Air Pro purifier to eliminate pollutants in the air.*
What do you do to reduce infection risk?
We follow a strict infection control protocol. Surfaces are disinfected once per hour and after use. Patient chairs and operatories are wiped thoroughly with cavicide and sprayed with a handheld steam atomizer, masks are worn at all times and we use the Molekule Air Pro purifier to eliminate pollutants in the air.*
How does air pollution affect oral health? What are the best tips to keep your mouth & teeth healthy?
Exposure to polluted air damages enamel directly and indirectly. Polluted air gets dissolved in our water sources and finds its way into our bodies through our foods. Some polluted air causes pigmentation of teeth. The best ways to keep your teeth and mouth healthy are to brush and floss regularly and see your dental professional for a complete oral checkup.
The non-profit that you’re a part of, Dental Helping Hands, looks incredible. What countries are you focusing on bringing dental care to?
Dental Helping Hands has been able to serve several countries such as Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria and Jamaica. Our goal is to continue to expand to other developing countries in the years to come.
What are the complications for someone who has to go without dental care for their entire life?
Ultimately, they run the risk of poor or impaired nutrition as well as dental caries and other dental anomalies. Teeth ensure the proper breakdown of foods (chewing) which in turn aids in digestion.
You’re not just an orthodontist and a philanthropist, though. What led you to start making your own candles?
I have always loved candles but when I was a dental student my goal was to find a way to enjoy candles on a budget. YouTube became my best friend because I used the tutorials. I started making candles for myself then shortly after for my friends and family. After the demand grew I decided to turn my passion project into a business.
How did you select the materials that you use for your candles? Did you find that other waxes, wicks or scents might impact indoor air quality?
Yes, our candles are made from 100% organic soy wax which burns cleaner. We use 100% cotton wicks and high quality, phthalate free fragrance oils to ensure that our candles burn clean and produce toxin free scents.
You’re a self-proclaimed Side Hustler, any important tips for others who want to develop another stream of income or develop a passion project?
If there is a desire to develop passive income, one of the biggest barriers to starting is doubt and fear. I’ve written a blog post with some tips and advice titled How to Grow a Successful Side Hustle.
Keep an eye on Dr. Smith’s blog at her website to learn more about her practice and side hustles!
*Air purifiers can provide an additional layer of protection to help reduce potential viral exposure. Molekule encourages use of PPE and medical countermeasures suggested by government authorities.