Catharine’s Story

Hi! I’m Dr. B’s daughter, co-founder and all things behind-the-scenes here at Ask the Dentist.

While double-majoring in pre-med and Spanish at Scripps College, I discovered the inequities in medicine between communities. That’s just one reason why I am so passionate about making dental health info freely available on the web. I may not be a dentist, but I have been pushing my dad to share his knowledge with the world for many years now.

In 2010, I was babysitting a friend’s twins, and their mom asked whether she should use tap water in the babies’ formula. She was concerned about the fluoride in tap water, and because my dad has always been the go-to person for my friends’ and family’s dental questions, I put them in touch.

When I gave her my dad’s email address, she noticed that was the domain. “What’s” she asked. “I went there but there’s no website.” I explained that he used to have a dental blog back in the 90s but once he became a dad, he got too busy. She got really excited and encouraged me to restart the website. “You have to do this!” she told me.

Inspired by her encouragement, I started learning how to make a website and got back online.

It certainly helped that I was working for Google at the time. During my time there, the company was working on a product called Google Health, which was intended to make it possible for people to search their health records online.

Unfortunately, Google struggled to convince hospitals to make health records readily available. After enrolling only a handful of hospitals in the program, Google Health was shut down in 2013.

I had become frustrated by the glacial pace of the medical system and all the red tape encountered from simply attempting to empower patients across the country. But there was a silver lining:

Upon the demise of Google Health, the program’s product manager said, “We continue to be strong believers in the role information plays in healthcare and in improving the way people manage their health, and we’re always working to improve our search quality for the millions of users who come to Google every day to get answers to their health and wellness queries.”

Millions of users coming to Google every day to get answers to their health and wellness queries.

That was it!

People were taking their health into their own hands—by searching online. A revolution was happening in the way people were making choices and educating themselves.

They not only wanted to heal from illnesses, but they wanted to prevent them and, most importantly, optimize their health and live their best lives!

In that moment I understood the importance of helping my dad shed light on the countless oral and dental health topics that had been shrouded in mystery for much of the general public.

I saw the tremendous potential in developing Ask the Dentist as the go-to source for this information, and I doubled down on my efforts.

What You Can Expect From Me

People ask me all the time if I wanted to be a dentist growing up.

Funny enough, the answer is no—despite my fond memories of working in my dad’s practice organizing files and calling patients with appointment reminders as early as 8 years old.

My jam is behind-the-scenes—the writing, the business logistics, corralling my dad to ensure he shares his years of medical expertise in a way that readers can actually understand. In other words, I make sure Ask the Dentist is a medical jargon-free zone!

In the early days of the site, I’d come home from work and drag my dad out of his study so we could write together at the kitchen table.

I trusted him to guide the direction of the content and determine what people wanted to read, while I coded the website and served as a filter to make sure everything we published was layperson-friendly. This involved a lot of me telling my dad, “explain it like I’m five!” to which he’d reply, “how about I explain it like you’re twelve?” Well played, Dad!

Fast forward many years later, and in October 2017, my husband David and I had our first daughter…

And it took no time at all for me to get knocked on my ass. I had a disappointing breastfeeding journey, to say the least (ending at 4 months with two bouts of mastitis hospitalizations, one of which turned into a MRSA staph infection, breast aspiration, and I&D), and despite knowing the oral development implications of pacifiers, I was desperate for my daughter to adopt the binky so I—and my boobs—could have some much needed rest.

As the daughter of a dentist, I am acutely aware of all the things that impact oral health in infants—pacifiers, breastfeeding, sippy cups, baby bottle tooth decay…

But as a new mama, I’ve also learned that it’s impossible to get it all perfect for your baby, no matter how many sacrifices we make!

It’s that perspective that I bring to Ask the Dentist: I understand that information alone isn’t always enough because knowing what’s best doesn’t always jive with the realities of our modern lifestyles.

So as opposed to just empowering you with valuable information, my job is also to help you find realistic and practical ways to integrate this information into your daily life.

From teething to pacifier mouth, baby bottle tooth decay to breastfeeding, there is SO MUCH TO KNOW as a new mom concerned about your baby’s oral and dental health.

Learn More: About Ask the Dentist