Dr. Smile Impacts Children, One Smile at a Time
Some are born into wealth and fame, and some aren't, but there are those who flat-out refuse to be limited by their circumstances. They dream big, figure out a strategy, and get straight to making their dreams come true.
Such is the story of Dr Rafif Tayara, aka Dr Smile, a leader in pediatric dentistry and a mum of three from humble lower middle-class roots born to Lebanese immigrants in Canada, who decided to break the mould and become master of her own destiny in dentistry.
Dr. Tayara's journey has not been easy, but she is an example of how perseverance breeds success. Now that she is an established healthcare expert in the UAE and the Middle East, Dr. Tayara is branching out and has an upcoming book in the works dedicated to her twins. Her success has motivated her to reach out to other women and mums in the workforce and empower them to build their own wealth and businesses.
Sharing her journey, Dr Tayara explains, "I first worked in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 2011, then moved to Doha and practised there for five years while seeing and treating my patients in the UAE at the same time. I realised in 2017 that Dubai is where I wanted to settle, build, and grow. Raising my twins alone while juggling a demanding full-time profession and career made me realize how important it is for women and mums in this region to invest in themselves and gain financial freedom."
Dr Tayara says coming from a different cultural background, being able to speak many languages, and adopting various medical schools of thought during her training were key factors in communicating with families in the UAE, which is a melting pot of cultures, in addition to her being able to relate to parents and communities as a mum.
Today, Dr. Tayara is known in her community and online as Dr. Smile. She has established herself as an outstanding pediatric dentist across Abu Dhabi, Doha, and Dubai. She is well known as a child health expert and speaker, lecturing globally to educate communities on the importance of oral care in children. Dr Tayara is also celebrating her new venture as an author and launching her own brand. Her upcoming children’s book will further her goal to inspire young Arab women. Dr Tayara is the recipient of an Award of Academic Excellence from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Canada-Lebanon, the Wondermum Award for Dentist of the Year in 2022, and was recognised by the NYC Journal as one of the Top 10 Dentists to Look Out For in 2022. She is also an ambassador and key opinion leader for various baby, children, and health brands.
Achieving this success has made Dr Tayara even more determined to spread the message that women can be great healthcare leaders. Her dentistry skills are undeniable, but she credits much more to her success. Becoming a prominent doctor in the Middle East is not just about your technical skills and knowledge but also about building bonds in your community. She learned how to fit into any community and has subsequently built her own following online. Her 67,800 Instagram followers look to her for advice on their children's health and love to hear stories about her personal life, where she recently found love in Dubai and just welcomed her baby girl.
Dr. Smile's passion is changing lives, and her new venture as an author will help her reach even more children. Her inspiring story and determined attitude will speak to young women across the globe who feel they cannot break into male-dominated professions. Dr. Tayara is putting smiles on faces, one child at a time.