Former Real Housewives of Miami, Dr. Karent Sierra’s true passion is dental health. The celebrity dentist is helping to raise awareness surrounding the often overlooked link between oral health and diabetes. You may be surprised to know that people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease.
I interviewed Dr. Sierra and she discussed with me some of the misconceptions of Oral Healthcare, she also shared with me ways she helps make her patients more relaxed in the dental chair.
ME: Dr. Sierra, you are an actress, model, spokesperson and dentist, what have you been working on since leaving the Real Housewives?
DR. SIERRA: After I left the Real Housewives of Miami, I’ve been focusing on different TV projects like guest hosting on The Doctors TV show. I’ve been flying back and forth to LA. I’ve been working on some other possible films in the future, too. Along with my foundation that I started about 3 years ago called Sharing Smiles, I was able to go to Africa this summer. I worked for 2 weeks with under-privileged children in Nairobi and the Messai Tribe. It was a great opportunity to extend what I know and what I do, not only to my local community, but to others as well.
ME: What are some of the biggest dental misconceptions that some of your patients have?
DR. SIERRA: I think a lot of my patients, when they usually come visit me, they don’t realize the importance of flossing. They don’t think that it is important as it actually is, and I always try to tell my patients that you want to floss only the teeth that you want to keep. With that said, you want to floss every single tooth. And the one suggestion that I always tell them, because a lot of my patients tell me, “My gosh, Dr. Sierra, I just forget to floss, I’m always so busy”, is to get the floss out of the drawer and actually stick it in the shower. If you look at it while you’re taking a shower you remember and you remind yourself “Oh my gosh, it’s time to floss.” I’ve noticed that my patients have started to increase their habit of doing so.
ME: Tell us how a visit to your office is more pampering than pain.
DR. SIERRA: Well, a visit to my dental office, if you’ve watched any of the episodes during the Real Housewives of Miami, you saw that I did a type of “dental spa”. I started incorporating many things to soothe and relax the patients because I did not enjoy going to the dentist when I was little. So when you come in, if you’re of-age and it’s after 12, we will offer you a glass of wine to relax. The dental chairs have a built-in massage, also so you can relax, and we have paraffin wax for your hands. We figure that you can’t do anything with your hands while I’m working inside your mouth, so why not have nice, soft hands when you’re done. And we also have video eye ware and Bose noise-reduction headphones so you can listen to spa music and, basically, tune out the drill and the noise. And I’ve noticed the reaction from my patients – they’ve been so happy coming to our office that it doesn’t feel like a dental office, it doesn’t smell like a dental office; and that means that they are definitely up to coming in more often.
ME: Tell us about the Watch Your Mouth Campaign.
DR. SIERRA: Watch Your Mouth Campaign is Colgate Total partnering up with the Diabetes Association, and the reason for this is to create awareness for the often-overlooked link between gum disease and diabetes. You can also find more information, if you are interested, at www.oralhealthanddiabetes.com.