Our periodontal hygienist Sylvie Fontizard came to the United States as a young child from Haiti.
“I actually spoke very little English when I first moved here,” she recalls. “We spoke Creole often at home, but I was fluent in both French and Latin since the nuns at my school in Haiti had insisted we speak those languages.”
A popular fixture at South Florida Center for Periodontics & Implant Dentistry since 2018, Sylvie believes that the dental field chose her rather than the other way around. After high school in Florida, she thought she might want to become a physical therapist. An experience shadowing a dentist led her to change her original goals and, instead, pursue a career in dentistry, first as an assistant, then, following required additional education, as the registered dental hygienist she proudly is today.
“I was obsessed about my teeth growing up and took great pride in my smile,” she says. “So, it seemed a natural move to work helping people with their oral health.”
Sylvie credits her two hygiene colleagues Monica and Michelle, and the doctors and other team members at SFCPID, with make her daily environment so pleasant. She especially praises Doctors Ganeles, Norkin and Aranguren who, Sylvie says, have gone above and beyond to address infection control during the pandemic.
Sylvie points out that she feels “instant gratification” doing her job thanks to the patients themselves.
“I love knowing I can help patients by educating them about good oral hygiene and their health, and the significance of treating periodontal issues promptly, especially since there’s so much research out there linking gum disease to major issues like heart and kidney disease.”
Physical and mental wellness is very important to Sylvie, a physical fitness buff who, while socially distanced, she adds, trains with weights outside when possible.
In general, she says, “I feel blessed —this job puts a smile in my heart.”