Dental Hygienist Spotlight: Willow-Haven Walaszek


Willow-Haven is a current dental hygiene student that we are blown away with! She started off creating a project for school, which has now grown to being published and promoting her own children’s book about dental hygiene. We asked Willow a few questions about her project and the process of becoming an author, which may answer some questions for you if you’ve ever wanted to have your very own book.

What started the processes of creating your own book? The book started as a hands on educational tool project for my Pediatrics class. I love to paint, specifically watercolor, any opportunity I have to exercise creativity and use watercolor as a medium for a school project makes the work more enjoyable. I first had the book printed by an online photo book company, and sent a few to my family just so they could see some of my work. My family started showing their friends and dentist. I started to realize I was going to need a lot more books.

I had decided to write a children’s book because I had seen the impact books make on young children as a nanny. It taught me the impact books have on children. Children will ask to have a book read repeatedly for hours, ask many questions about the story and the pictures, and even bring up components of the story hours later. They are extremely impressionable. At this time, children will be visiting the dental office for the first time and this new experience can be daunting. Introducing a story to them before their visit is the perfect “tell-show” component of the “tell-show-do” method we use with children. Whether that is at home long before they come to the dentist or minutes before they sit in the dental chair.

Have you always wanted to write your own book? I played with the idea a few times, more for personal gifts, but I never planned on ever publishing a book. It’s not something you really think about doing right in the middle of dental hygiene school.

What has been the hardest part of process? Honestly the hardest part is the part I’m actively doing, marketing. Knowing your target audience is one thing, but knowing how you are going to reach them is another. With being a full time student I haven’t been to spend as much time on marketing as I would like, but little by little I am making headway and learning a lot as I go.

Do you have any advice for someone also wanting to publish? Do your research ahead of time. Selecting the right publishing company for you will make the rest of the process easier for you. Talk to other authors, call the companies, ask as many questions as you can and take your own time to make the decision don’t let anyone rush you. Sell yourself and be proud of what you have done. When you are privately publishing a book, your product is you. Make others believe in your story, and your passion behind it. If you can get others to believe in your brand, you will not only be successful in selling your book, but you will also be successful in selling your message.

Any advice to other dental hygiene students just starting out school? You are capable than so much more than you think. Whatever hygiene school is throwing at you right now, you will succeed! Don’t let the business of school stop you from taking on new opportunities, because you can do extraordinary things.

If you’d like to contact Willow with any questions or order your very own “I Like Your Smile” Book, find her on or email her at