Student excited about dental hygiene - The Lookout - LCC's Independent Student Newspaper Since 1959
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Student excited about dental hygiene

Dental student

LCC student Jaelyn Putnam, 18, is pursuing a career as a dental hygiene major.  Photo by Mallory Stiles

Mallory Stiles

By Mallory Stiles
Editor in Chief

Some people have a real fear of the dentist, but they are in luck because LCC student Jaelyn Putnam has a perfect smile and an infectious personality sure to put every patient at ease.

Putnam, 18, is taking three courses as a dental hygiene major. She also works as a barista at a local Biggby, but never loses her positivity or giggly nature, no matter how hard things get.

“I want to be accepted into the dental program here, but I don’t know,” Putnam said. “They only accept 24 people a year. I am putting so much pressure on myself.”

She said her love for dentistry started back in high school in one of her dental assisting classes and has stayed with her ever since. Putnam said she sees dentistry as a way to help people.

“As weird as it sounds, it’s just fascinating to me,” Putnam said. “Each person has a different and unique set of teeth; there’s a different anatomy to every smile. It doesn’t matter if it is cracked, crooked or perfectly straight, teeth are just interesting to me.

“I look forward to, in the future, cleaning someone’s teeth and making them feel better about themselves and giving them that boost of confidence.”

Putnam said her confidence was always boosted by her mother, whom she said she thinks the world of and described as a driving force.

“My mom is very outgoing, very bubbly and nice,” Putnam said. “She always tries to make your day better and she is always there. She has done so much for me and my brother.

“My biological father died when I was 3. My brother was 5. It was a bad year; she (my mother) got laid off and had to work two jobs. I give her so much credit for what she did.”

It’s a terrible period in Putnam’s history, but her mother did remarry and started a business with her new husband that quickly became the backdrop for Putnam’s childhood.

“My parents own an automotive shop called TamRox Automotive in Jackson,” Putnam said. “My mother’s name is Tamara, so they named it TamRox, like Tam rocks.”

She now also has three step-siblings with whom she is very close. One of her step-sisters, Alyvia Putnam, 20, did confirm they have a very strong relationship.

Alyvia said they bonded early over being so close in age and having similar interests.

“We had a lot in common,” Alyvia said. “We fought a lot but we were definitely the closest ones growing up. She is very creative; I can tell you that. She always helps me come up with ideas for projects. She is kind and hardworking.”

To de-stress, Putnam likes to hang out with friends or listen to music. Her favorite song right now is “As She Walks Away” by The Zac Brown Band. She said she is a country girl at heart.

“My whole family loves country music,” she said. “My papa (grandfather on her mother’s side) was a bull rider in Oklahoma and he loved country music and wearing his boots and his hat. He was a good bull rider, too.”

She was born in Adrian, Mich., but graduated in Jackson. She has been to several other countries, including Belize, Jamaica and Costa Rica, but favors Hawaii out of every place she has visited.

Her favorite book is “The Girl in the Blue Coat” and her favorite holiday is Valentine’s Day. She will order a steak when given the opportunity and is the only person in the whole world who doesn’t like pickles.

Putnam said she is the type of girl who gets excited about the little things in life, the things that most people never stop to notice.

“I love waking up and seeing the sun rise or driving down a country road and watching it set,” Putnam said. “I am excited to wake up every day to a new opportunity to try different things. It’s a fresh start; no matter what the day brings, you can always make it a good one.”

She believes that everything in life comes down to a simple choice and gives the same piece of advice to everyone:

“Choose happiness.”



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