A Calling and a Passion to Care for Little Folks’ Smiles
To me, being a pediatric dentist is way more than just my job: what I do is my calling and my passion, and because I love what I do, it doesn’t feel like work.
The mechanics of what I do every day is just that … mechanics. I am trained to do one thing: fix baby teeth.
But that is not what called me to do what I do with such a great a love. I treat and care for a little person and I become an important part of that little person’s healthy, confident smile. It is an honor to help grow a patient who one day leaves me and enters the adult world!
My one true passion is children. Before I even knew that I wanted to be a dentist, I knew that I wanted to work with children. Kids just make me happy! Waking up every day and being able to come to work to help my little ones is the best!
I have been practicing pediatric dentistry for 15 years and not a day goes by where I am not grateful for this calling. It may be obvious to say that I love all the cute little words and stories that come out of my patients’ mouths. The talkative little personalities that come in are so entertaining! But the honest truth is that I equally love my shy little ones where I am able to help them overcome fears and build their confidence. And I also love a challenging, complex child who gets me thinking in new ways, too!
After all these years of practicing, there isn’t much a child can bring my way that doesn’t make me smile!
Education, Ongoing Learning, and Professional Affiliations
I attended the University of Texas Pan American for my Bachelor of Science degree. Moving to San Antonio, I obtained my Doctorate of Dental Surgery (DDS) and my Pediatric Dental Specialty training at the University of Texas Health Science Center here in town.
Since completing my pediatric dentistry residency, I have continually sought additional educational opportunities. Continuing education is required for my licensure and, as a board-certified pediatric dentist, I am required to complete additional hours of courses and training in my specialty. Every year I exceed the minimum required hours, because I want to provide my patients with the best care possible!
Continuing education keeps me updated with the latest research, products, techniques, and trends in the specialty. I believe constant learning is so important that Dr. Nelly and I take time each month to hold a “lunch and learn” here in the office, keeping our team up-to-date with the latest developments. The more we can teach our team, the better informed our patients are: our team is an extension of us, so they need to keep up with the latest information just as much as we do!
I am a member of the:
- American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- American Board of Pediatric Dentistry
- Texas Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- San Antonio Academy of Pediatric Dentistry
- Southwestern Society of Pediatric Dentistry
Through these organizations I am able to attend meetings, seminars, and lectures, along with participating in online webinars and trainings.
Beyond the Office
I grew up in Corpus Christi and have lived in San Antonio since I moved here for dental school, in 2000.
My husband Mario and I have been married for 15 years. I have three children: Giana and Lina who are twins and were born on my birthday and Elena who was born on Mario’s birthday, as well as three grown step-kids: Christopher, Lauren, and Jessica. They are all amazing!
We currently have an au pair from Columbia, Luisa, living with us. We usually host an au pair from a different country every 1-2 years who helps us to care for the girls. This allows us to experience a new culture, learn a new language, and taste new food from their area. Our girls love it!
If I’m not working, you’ll find me with family. Weekends have us enjoying our favorite activity, making the most of our pool! Think a little rain will keep the Ochoas from getting in the water? Think again! We can be caught dancing, skipping, and swimming in the rain!
Ours is a very faith-driven family. We are very active in our church and participating in church activities can quickly fill our calendar and hearts by serving those around us.
Both Mario and I teach the middle school youth at our church. Since being around children is a passion of mine, and our girls are getting bigger, we are able to give back and share our faith with those around us. Volunteering our time, love, and talents with others is important for our community, but we are also teaching our own children the importance of serving and giving to others. We know they learn best by following our example.