Karen Ray-Paige


AAS in Dental Hygiene
New York City Technical College

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

My childhood dentist was one of my favorite people in the world. I truly loved going to my dental office. I would ask "a million" questions about all the equipment and teeth. The best part is he answered all my questions every visit! He called me a "pest" because of my inquisitive character. He (secretly)told my mom how proud he was of me when I chose and graduated from the dental hygiene program. His professionalism, wisdom, teachings, and kindness set the bar for me!

What’s the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of this career for me is...the gratitude my patients often give me!

What dental stereotype are you most passionate about changing?

I would change the stigma that hygienists are "cleaning ladies" and not vital Oral Health Educators. Hygienists are far more than human "scalers."

What is the absolute coolest thing about the human mouth?

No two mouths are alike! Just fascinating!

In another life, if you weren’t working in dentistry, what would you be doing?

I would be taking care of homeless adults, children, and people with special needs.

What’s something that really, really, really makes you smile? Like, really?

Daniel....he is my son