The face behind the blog

This week was Match Day for dental students in the United States.

I am so honored and grateful to be training in pediatric dentistry at Boston Children’s Hospital – Harvard! My class at Harvard School of Dental Medicine is filled with 34 shining examples of hard work, compassion, and determination, and I am honored to be standing by their side through this journey. In five months, this group of dental students will become dentists!!!! I couldn’t be more proud of this dental family.

Do you have questions about dental school or residency? Reach out. I’m happy to be of assistance in any way I can.

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© 2019 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Don’t Ever Believe You Are Not Good Enough

There is a central flaw in our society. And no, it doesn’t have orange hair or a headline beginning with ‘allegation’ and ending with ‘fired,’ so shake your etch-a-sketch clear.

 

Because the flaw I have found is more pervasive.

 

And it’s nothing new. In fact, this flaw is the concept around which much of our ideologic infrastructure is built. And it’s a concept that we all have the responsibility to change: the concept of Nate.

 

Nate was a young boy in a class I taught. He was five when we met, ten when I left the teaching position. He had a fascination with cars and loved playing games on the white board. He could write in his workbook for hours, but could only ever grip the pencil in the palm of his hand, his letters often large and illegible. He was never very neat, even for a young boy, and would fall into anxious habits without even noticing. If he didn’t have a stress ball or toy in his hand, there would soon be blood dripping from his face. It’s not that he wanted to hurt himself, but his mind and body always had to work. When he was angry, he had little control. But when learned something new, he filled the room with enthusiasm. Those moments, however, were far and few between.

 

For every ten steps his classmates took, Nate had to take fifty. For every lesson his classmates learned, Nate learned one-eighth. Every day in the classroom, Nate fell behind. Grades were simply reminders of a fact he already knew. Academic games he could never win were simply public demonstrations of how hard it was for him to even try. The system around him, the system around which our society is built – with evaluations and standardized expectations and celebration only of success – simply served to point out his flaws.

 

Still, Nate kept showing up. He kept trying. He kept learning and filling the room with his enthusiasm. He always kept his body hunched over, his head someone down. But I never did get the idea that he was hiding or ashamed. Rather, Nate seemed to be focusing. He seemed to be tuning out the messages the world was feeding him and focusing simply on what he needed to do in that moment.

 

Unfortunately, the world didn’t let Nate grow up in his difference, medication calming him down until he could simply blend in.

 

Though Nate had a syndrome to face, we all, at one point or another, have been Nate. When receiving rejection. When being left out of the group. When being told we could have done better, and realizing that what we gave was truly our best.

 

We are all imperfect. And the world is built to put that imperfection right in our face. Job evaluations. School marks. Interpersonal schisms. The world shows us our challenges.

 

And face-to-face with our flaws, it is up to us to remember the one thing the world often forgets to share:

 

We can always do better. (And I mean that in the best of ways!)

 

If you score perfectly on an exam, great. But is your learning actually complete? If you and a friend celebrate a five-year friend-versary, fun! But does your relationship really have no room to grow?

 

The world we live in puts growth on a zero to one-hundred scale, with success being this attainable score at the top. And if you are anything less than perfect, the world is here to point that out, and remind you to do better, try harder, achieve more.  You could be as perfect as that other guy getting a 100 over there. Can you imagine that? 😉

 

And it’s really a great system – if we were all the same human being with the same mind and capabilities.

 

Of course, we aren’t. We are all some version of Nate. We are all some version of a caring, incredible person with unique challenges and strengths. We are all on our own zero to one-hundred scales. And we are all responsible for reminding those around us that their great leaps of progress or small steps of growth are equally incredible.

 

  • So your life is at a different stage than your neighbor’s? That’s okay.
  • So you’re excelling at a faster rate than your classmate? That’s fine.
  • So you could do better on an arbitrary scale? Yep. That’s true. You can always do better.

 

The world isn’t going to change overnight. Our minds aren’t simply going to rewire into the peace Nate found when blocking out the comparisons and judgments being made around him. He took years to build that skill. He still, often, forgot it.

 

But, in sharing his strengths, Nate taught me a mantra I will never forget, a mantra we all have the gift of sharing with those around us:

 

Don’t ever believe you are not good enough. 

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© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

Dental Health Tips for Kids: Help Your Child’s Smile Bloom

We all want the same for our children:

Health. Happiness. A lifetime of smiles.

And with a few simple oral health changes at home, we CAN give our kids a bit of each! Today, let’s start with just four of these easy-to-do changes for healthier smiles and healthier kids.

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Click HERE to read the four tips on The Huffington Post,

And bring your kids to Harvard Dental Center on February 3, 2018, for free dental care, crafts, education and more! Call 617-432-1434 Option #1 to schedule your child’s FREE dental visit.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

The Reason Today Is Worth Celebrating

Much too often, we minimize our accomplishments.

We tell ourselves, ‘Sure, I did that, but so could anyone else around.’ Or, ‘Yeah, I did that, but I could have done it better.’

And maybe that’s partly true. There are lots of talented people. There is always room to improve.

But could you have done just as well two months ago?

Could you have accomplished that task last year?

The measure of our success has never been the people around us. The target in sight has never been based on a neighbor.

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Because our only locus of control is in ourselves. Our only standard of compare is against ourselves.

We take who we were yesterday, and we try to grow into an even better person today. We take our mistakes of the day, and acknowledge that they will help us grow tomorrow. We hold in ourselves the belief that we are our own greatest advocates, and we are our own cheering fans.

We applaud our successes, no matter how small.

And we give to ourselves the encouragement we would give to a friend. Because we know the truth: what we did today was INCREDIBLE. And what we can do tomorrow will be inspired by today.

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

You are so strong, you can…

There will forever be challenges.

In school. In work. In friendships and life.

And in each of these challenges, there will always be YOU, strong enough to rise above the waves.

BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN. BELIEVE THAT YOU WILL. BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO BE.

Because, my dear, the world (and I) already believe in YOU!

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You are so strong, you can!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

What Truly Matters

You are standing on a sports field with a line of strangers. The grass is just mowed, damp from the morning rain. Gnats are gathering at your ankles, and the sun is shining on your back. The warmth leaves a trickle of sweat down your shirt, but you stay still, listening to the man before you.

“Take a step forward,” the man calls, standing bald and boxy at 5’11. “For every time you said ‘good’ when someone asked how you were doing this week.”

For those of you at home, count your steps in deep breaths.

 “And take a step forward,” he continues, “for every time you tried to hide your tired eyes in skin-colored makeup.”

You listen, and respond with a step.

“Take another step for every moment this week that didn’t go as you planned.”

You walk and walk, until you are circling back across the field.

“And reach your arms to your body in a hug for every time things went their own way, and you followed that new track.”

Chances are, you are not the only one standing in self-embrace at this moment. Chances are, you are not the only one with your arms still at your side. Chances are, where you stand at this moment doesn’t matter. But it’s easy to forget, in seeing where others stand, that this is really the case. We look out for comparison. Are we good? Are we right? Are we keeping up with the pack? We look down at ourselves to see what could be different, perhaps better. We wonder how all of our decisions amounted to this present state. Could we have decided differently?

And we get stuck in a cycle of self-doubt.

If only I were different. If only I knew then what I know now. If only. If only.

If only we would stop! And see that where we are is okay. Because this is what is. This is reality. No, it’s not the same as our neighbor’s reality. And often, it’s not where we hoped we would be at this time in our lives. But oh, boy, is our reality filled with opportunity!

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You lost someone from your life?

Okay. It happened, and now you have a chance to be that energy and strength for yourself.

You faced a roadblock in your job?

Fantastic! The hard part is over, and now you can really, truly grow. Real fulfillment comes from challenge and perseverance anyways!

The reality is, when we get lost in doubt, comparisons, cycles of what ifs, we forget what truly matters: We are powerless. The world, the people around us are not ours to control. AND, in the absence of control, we can find the strength to let life change course, and to still choose to move forward.

So take a deep breath with me, and look into a mirror. Notice your eyes, the authenticity coming from beneath that mask we so often wear. And say aloud – yes, aloud! – “I am powerless, AND I have such strength.”

You are here. And here is good, because here and now is simply what is.

 

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.

10 Lessons from 10 Dental Specialties

Open wide’ to the possibilities in the dental profession, and do please keep your jaw cracked open, too. We’re almost done with the soft tissue exam.

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We can learn so much from the many specialties of the dental profession!

CLICK HERE to read my latest Huffington Post article and to find out if you have the chutzpah of a prosthodontist!

© 2017 Mirissa D. Price: A Dental Student, A Writer, A Journey to Share.