Brittany Ortiz DentalHygienist

Brittany Ortiz


English, Spanish
AAS in Dental Hygiene
Plaza College

Most people either loved going to the dentist as a kid—or absolutely hated it. Where did you fall? How come?

As a child, I hated going to the dentist. I have two older brothers, and they always seemed to get away with ZERO cavities, while I always had a bunch! I had my first, and only root canal performed when I was six years old, and the endodontist was terrific, but still, as a child, I was kicking and screaming. Afterward, I had many years of orthodontics with palate expansion, braces, rubber bands. I felt terrific when my braces were removed at 16. There was so much upkeep, but it was so well worth the investment in my health. Thanks, mom!

What (or who) inspired you to get into dentistry? How so?

The person that inspired me to get into dentistry was my grandfather. My grandfather was a veteran and took very well care of his teeth. As he grew older and Alzheimer’s progressed, he forgot many things, including our names, but he never forgot my teeth. There was never a day that I would visit him that he would ask me at least two to three times, “Let me see those teeth!”

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing how satisfied my members are after educating them on their oral health care and overall health care—seeing that sense of ease when they know that everything will be okay. A vast majority of people fear the dentist because they are in a vulnerable position, laying back in the dental chair and staring at the ceiling while waiting to be told how much more you should be flossing or how many cavities you have. Still, at Tend, we aren’t doing that - we’re helping our members create achievable habits to have healthy teeth and happy lives.

How do you recharge after a long week? What’s your go-to activity for hitting the restart button?

To recharge after a long week, I will usually spend some time practicing self-care; I’m all for healthy habits! Yoga, exercising, reading, cooking, sometimes a spa visit! I love to spend time in nature, as well as with my family and my dog!

What dental stereotype are you most passionate about changing?

The idea that there's no connection between oral healthcare and overall healthcare. The mouth is a window to your health. If we can eliminate the immune response in the oral cavity, it will help all systemic diseases like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more!

__What is the absolute coolest thing about the human mouth? __

I find that the tongue is the absolute most extraordinary thing in the human mouth. There are SO many things we can tell just from looking at your tongue. Alongside our dentists, we can recommend our members to visit their primary care physicians to see if they have any underlying medical conditions like vitamin deficiencies, such as iron-deficiency anemia or b12 pernicious anemia. The tongue also has a muscle attachment connecting to the floor of the mouth that can help us identify speech disorders, tongue ties, tongue thrusting, and even sleep apnea.