I’m Dr Rishita Jaju, and This is My Way…

My Way series asks entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured or questions you think we should ask? Email [email protected]
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Pediatric Dentist
Smiles Wonders

11790 Sunrise Valley Drive,
#105 Reston, VA 20191
(571) 350-3663
www.smilewonders.com

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Count your blessings and look for silver linings” in every aspect of your life is the best advice I received. In my journey from being a daughter, student, wife, dentist, business owner, and now a mom, this idea has become my mantra in life.

I was born and raised in India before I moved to the United States at 18 years of age to complete higher education at the University of Georgia. Not only did I graduate with honors in microbiology, but I also met my husband there! From there, I went on to Boston when I was accepted to the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and graduated with honors in pediatrics. I followed my husband to the DC metro area and completed specialty training in pediatric dentistry at the Children’s Hospital in DC where I was selected as the Chief Resident and then served as attending faculty member for several years.

Since then, I have continued to further my education in my profession and am the only Board Certified Pediatric Dentist in the Mid-Atlantic region who has achieved Advanced Laser Proficiency Certification and Breastfeeding Specialist Certification. As a CNMC LEND Fellow (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities), I have gained a unique perspective into the care of children with different needs and abilities! Creating a positive dental experience, providing dental care for children with special behavioral or medical needs, and helping newborns with Lip and Tongue Ties are the driving forces of my practice Smile Wonders in Reston, VA.

At the end of a busy workday, I look forward to seeing my loving husband, my two Maltese dogs (Kaju and Kulfi) and my active and energetic 6-month-old son, Arnav.

One word that best describes your workspace:
Bustling

Take us through a typical day.
These days, as you can imagine, my infant son calls the shots of when and how I get to wake up each day. Once he gets his morning snuggles, diaper change, and breakfast, it is time for me to head to my office, Smile Wonders. Each day I get to work with a variety of mothers and their newborns experiencing feeding difficulties. Of course, I also get the privilege of seeing young children, teens, and those with special needs for their regular dental visits or treatment. As soon as the day is done, I get home to relieve my super trustworthy nanny and to spend my evenings with the little guy, my husband, and dogs. We make it a point to go for a long walk as a whole family after dinner and return just in time for bedtime routine for my son. You can imagine it is never a dull day!

What apps, gadgets, or tools do you rely on every day?
I cannot go without WhatsApp. My husband and I love traveling, and we have friends and family that live across all the continents (except Antartica). WhatsApp – chat, phone, and video has been such a great way to keep in contact with everybody!

What woman inspires you, and why?
The most inspirational woman in my life, hands down, is my aunt. During a family road trip, her car was part of a significant accident. At the age of 28, she was left paralyzed and wheel-chair bound. To this day, I have never met a more positive person in my life! She is the glue that holds our family together and always takes charge of leading our family whenever we get together. She has always motivated me to be forever grateful for my blessings, and to remember that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Who are the people who help you get things done, and how do you rely on them?
The phrase, “It takes a village,” is definitely something I live by when it comes to helping me raise my child as well as my business! I feel so fortunate that my parents were able to travel and help with my transition back from maternity leave. I also have a very trustworthy and dedicated nanny that helps me take care of my son at home while I am at work. I have a great team that makes sure I don’t miss a beat at work and always have the patients’ best interests at heart. In the world of pediatric dentistry, you’re not just caring for the child, but their parents as well.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Count your blessings and look for silver linings” in every aspect of your life is the best advice I received. In my journey from being a daughter, student, wife, dentist, business owner, and now a mom, this idea has become my mantra in life. It has helped me ride the challenges with hope, grace, and gratefulness.

How do you keep track of your to-do lists?
iPhone and Google calendar are my saviors! Not only do I use them for keeping track of my to-do list, but also to stay in sync with my team at work and at home.

Do you take Posh timeouts? What do you do when you want to forget about work?
My husband and I love traveling and used to take 3 to 4 domestic or international trips each year to refresh and recharge. Not only did the trips serve to take our minds off of the routine stress of busy work life but also gave us a chance to reconnect and relax together while exploring the world. We have already taken 2 trips, even with my infant son, so I am pretty sure we will keep the travel tradition going for a while.

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My Way series asks entrepreneurs, experts, and influencers to share their shortcuts, workspaces, routines, and more. Have someone you want to see featured, or questions you think we should ask? Email [email protected]