Renowned dentist and former “The Real Housewives of Miami” star, Dr. Karent Sierra has been extremely busy as of late! She’s been traveling back and forth to Los Angeles to work with our friend, Dr. Travis Stork and the cast of “The Doctors” and by ‘offering dentistry to underprivileged children’ in Africa through her foundation Sharing Smiles. Dr. Sierra recently partnered with Colgate Total and the American Diabetes Association’s new Watch Your Mouth campaign to help bring more awareness to the link between diabetes and gum disease. She was kind enough to join me earlier this week to discuss what she’s working on as of late and why visiting the dentist is so important for everyone, especially those suffering with diabetes.
Candace Rose: You’re an actress, model, spokesperson and dentist. What have you been working on since leaving “The Real Housewives of Miami”?
Dr. Karent Sierra: “Well, since leaving “The Real Housewives (of Miami)” I’ve been focusing on other TV projects. I’ve been going back and forth to Los Angeles, guest hosting on ‘The Doctors” TV show which is a great entertaining yet informative show that is a little bit more suitable for my dental profession. I’ve also been working on a couple of TV shows that hopefully will be panning out within the next couple of months, you’ll see me there. I’ve been in Africa this past summer with my foundation Sharing Smiles and offering dentistry to underprivileged children in Kenya, Nairobi, Laitayiok with the Masai tribe.”
Candace Rose: What are some of the biggest dental misconceptions your patients have?
Dr. Karent Sierra: “Well, there are a lot of misconceptions- first of all, people believe that if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t exist. What I try to explain to my patients is that it’s so important to visit your dental care professional at least twice a year, because not all problems, not all diseases are symptomatic. Many problems arise, and you have no idea that they’ve arisen. By going to visit your dentist, getting your dental checkup, having x-rays taken, we can be able to to diagnose correctly, and if we were able to find anything chances are we can find it on time and it has a faster and easier cure.”
Candace Rose: How is a visit to your office more pampering than painful?
Dr. Karent Sierra: “Well, if you saw any of the episodes of “The Real Housewives of Miami” we were able to film a couple of times in my office, and I kind of built a little niche of a dental spa. I, myself didn’t enjoy going to the dentist when I was younger, so I wanted to make things different. I wanted to have a lot more comforts, so when you come into my office it doesn’t smell like a dental office, it doesn’t look like a dental office. We have built-in massage chairs within the dental chair. We offer you paraffin wax to help you relax. We have Boise noise reduction headphones, so you can tune out and watch a movie or listen to some nice spa music. We try to do things differently in my office.”
Candace Rose: How does our overall health impact our dental health?
Dr. Karent Sierra: “Well, it’s so important because there is a huge link between gum disease and overall general disease and especially with diabetes. Research has shown that people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. It’s so important to educate our patients and making sure that they’re following good oral care habits as far as making sure that they brush their tongues- not just brushing your teeth; making sure that they floss. A lot of my patients forget to floss, and they say ‘Dr. Sierra, I just forget.’ One suggestion, and one tip that I always give my patients is take my floss out of the drawer where it seems to be hidden away and stick it inside your shower. Chances are when you’re in the shower you’ll remember, you’ll see the floss just sitting there and you’ll be more apt to making sure that you do floss. Another suggestion that I always have is making sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day with Colgate Total toothpaste. Research has shown that this can improve gum health in as little as four weeks, and especially for diabetic patients that’s extremely important.”
Candace Rose: Can you tell us about the Watch Your Mouth campaign?
Dr. Karent Sierra: “Yes, Colgate Total has partnered with the American Diabetes Association and they started launching this campaign called Watch Your Mouth, which is to create awareness for this often overlooked link between gum disease and diabetes. If anyone has or needs anymore questions answered, you can always check out our website at www.OralHealthandDiabetes.com.”