How did you get such perfect teeth?
Our family dentist [Douglas Clemetson, DDS ’68] told me, “You should be a dentist and you should go to UCSF.” There was no way my single mom could afford braces for us. So, when I arrived here, I wandered down to orthodontics and said, “I’m going to be a dentist, and I’ve got really crooked teeth.” They said, “Get in the chair.” I saw what orthodontists could do, and I was inspired.

You seem disappointed that none of your kids became dentists.
I couldn’t talk any of them into it, but I’ve encouraged patients and students. One patient I treated at age 13 recently came in for a tune-up on her front teeth. She said she had gone to dental school because I encouraged her, but she hadn’t found a job yet. I put her in touch with a friend who was looking for an associate, and now she works down the street from me in Alameda. That gives me a warm spot in my heart.

What’s the best part of orthodontics?
It’s the perfect mix of art and science. It takes science to move teeth, but it takes art to know where to put them. Just yesterday, we took off three sets of braces, and those are new smiles we’ve released into the world. You get satisfaction every day from seeing what you did.

What’s your favorite hobby?
I spend a lot of my free time cycling, and my goal every year is to ride my bike farther than I drive my car. I use my biking to take me to fun places in Europe, like France, where I’ve ridden almost all the mountain passes of the Tour de France. The best thing about France is that you get to eat the food guilt-free after an all-day bike ride that burns 5,000 calories.

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