DR. ANA TORRES DDS
Everyone smiles in the same language
Dr. Ana Torres is a dentist, biologist and athlete originally from Puerto Rico. Her passion for her career goes beyond being a dentist. She advises and thinks convincingly that a beautiful and healthy smile empowers and makes you feel confident from the moment you leave your office and for the rest of your life, by practicing good habits in their dental hygiene from children to adults. Now in Austin, Texas Ana has achieved another dream: to have her own practice: The Dental Salon. She thinks an informed patient is a happy patient. And her list of satisfied patients continues to grow.
Ana was born in Isabela, Puerto Rico, a town on the beach northwest of San Juan and as a child she always liked sports. She received a scholarship to study Biology at the University of Puerto Rico, but nevertheless Ana always wanted to be a dentist. No one in her family is a physician, but she has an aunt whom she admires enormously, a chemist, and she remembers this particular aunt always wearing a white jacket, and surprisingly this lingering image of her aunt, inspired Ana to study dentistry.
Anne came to the United States on account of her husband’s work. When she arrived in Chicago, she realized her dream of becoming a dentist graduating from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she obtained her D.D. S. degree in 2004.
Twelve years later Ana and her husband left Chicago and arrived in Austin Texas. While in Austin, Ana reached another high point in her career, by opening her own dental practice: My Dental Salon. Ana Torres speaks below about her career as a dentist and the importance of creating healthy oral hygiene habits from children to adults.
Meeting Ana, I wasn’t expecting a tall, athletic woman. Her energy and cheerful attitude make you feel you are ready for the next game, whatever the sport. She has a great smile, perfect you could say, it makes you feel like you’re on the same team from the first instant. She was wearing a stylish outfit composed of jeans and a black jacket, contrasting with a white T-shirt bearing a drawing of a big molar, with golden sequins, showing off her sense of humour and youthful spirit. In short, a stylish dentist .
Ana, did you have any obstacles in order to study college in the United States?
I studied a year of dentistry in Puerto Rico, but when I applied to the dental school at the University of Illinois Chicago they accepted me, but with one condition: that I start all over again!. So I had to repeat the first year. I did not mind since I knew it would reinforce what I had already studied
Did you plan to specialize?
I want to take courses in order to specialize in orthodontic treatment. At the moment I’m an Invisalign provider and I’m always taking courses to continue learning. That’s one of the nice things about this dental practice as well of course, of being able to help people with their oral health and always learning something new, which is a special pleasure.
How did you come to Austin, Texas?
Shortly after my daughter Isabel was born, my husband’s job with the Motorola company in Chicago sent him to Austin to work and we decided to leave Chicago where we had lived for 12 years. We thought Austin was a better option for our daughter to grow up in a warmer climate.
Let’s change courts and talk about your passion for volleyball: how does it help you in your daily life?
The discipline of volleyball instills in me the capacity to focus on my goals and achieve them, the same helps me, and I apply that focus when I am doing an oral treatment on my patients. I plan my direction to attack the problem, or a strategy to get the best defense you might say, or care for my patients.
This also helps me work with the staff with whom I have the fortune to employ in my office. In volleyball I learned to play as a team. Everyone here at the clinic, has their specific responsibilities, but we all work for the same purpose. The same with my assistants in the office. We are also 6, like the volleyball team. (laughs)
Ana, what distinguishes your dentist’s practice from the others?
My practices goes beyond just cleaning teeth and making them whiter with whitening. For me the treatment we give to our patients is most important and requires the most consideration. The equipment, the medicine, the toothbrushes can be the same everywhere, but the personal treatment we give to our patients makes them feel that we really care about their wellbeing and that is what brings them back.
What do you recommend to improve dental health?
I think there are many things you can do, but I better focus first on giving you a list of some things you should not do in order to protect your teeth. I share it with you here.
ELIMINATE 8 HABITS THAT DAMAGE OUR TEETH
By . Dr. Ana Torres, DDS
During the course of the day we use our teeth for many more things than chewing our food. We also have the habit of eating foods that are apparently healthy, but they damage our teeth more than you may imagine. Dr. Ana Torres includes eight bad habits that you can eliminate in order to protect your teeth.
No 1. Do not use your teeth as tools
For example to open plastic bags, of fried chips for example, to tear off the plastic labels of newly purchased garments, or to unscrew a top of a bottle of nail polish. This can cause the edge of a weakened tooth to break, so don’t do it!
No 2. Do not chew the ice from your drinks.
When you finish the drink, and you start chewing and chewing the ice. What is the damage? The fragility and cold temperature of the ice cubes can cause the teeth to fracture. This can cause microscopic cracks in the surface of the enamel, which could lead to larger dental problems over time.
No. 3. Do not crunch the leftover popcorn kernels
Why eliminate it? Popcorn kernels can also put undue strain on a tooth and cause it to break. They can also cause infection of the gums, when the kernel gets stuck between the gums and is not removed promptly.
No. 4. Watch out for those vitamins in gummies.
Why? Because they are sticky gummies and they easily get stuck between the teeth. And these vitamins have sugar. Children’s teeth as they are, have gaps between them, which is easier for the sugared gummies to grind in and ultimately cause decay if the remains are not removed with dental floss.
No. 5 What about drinking carbonated sodas?
If you do not want to stop drinking them, then take sips of soda with a straw to minimize exposure to the teeth. The acidity of these liquids affects the enamel and therefore causes decay. Make sure that the straw rests against the back of your mouth, not resting against your teeth. This way the liquid goes straight to your throat and you do not brush your teeth with this acidic soda
No. 6. Avoid grinding your teeth.
No matter what time of day you grind them, your teeth will wear out. Although this may be caused for a number of different reasons, including stress and anxiety, it is more likely to be due to an abnormal bite in your teeth. You have to correct this by using a mouth guard at night. The first thing is to be aware of what you do. And most importantly not doing it!
No. 7. Avoid eating snacks before falling asleep.
Is best not to eat anything after brushing your teeth at night. Don’t make those extra trips to the kitchen for that last “snack” of the day. Even if afterwards you brush your teeth quickly before bed, they are not as clean.
No. 8. Beware of using a toothbrush with hard bristles.
Some people think that the more firm the toothbrush is, the better. This is not the case, especially for older adults. With age, the gums recede and the roots of the teeth are exposed, which often increases sensitivity. A brush with too firm bristles can irritate the gums and give rise to sensitive teeth. They can also wear out the enamel which can be a serious problem and therefore cause sensitivity.
Remember: “It’s not the years in your life, but the life you give to your years” is a saying that can be associated with the teeth. Eliminate these 8 habits and you will see the results for yourself!
For more information, visit Dr. Torres at https://www.mydentalsalon.com