Meet local mom Dr. Breyn Schuster
orthodontist and co-owner of the family-run practice Schuster Family Orthodontics located in Garwood, New Jersey.
name Breyn Schuster
Company name Schuster Family Orthodontics
(names/ages) Dan (husband), Leila (14 ½), and Aedan (12)
Job Title Orthodontist
Contact info email@example.com
How long have you lived here and what brought you to town?
We have lived in Cranford since August of 2009. It’s a funny story, but I was a new associate in two orthodontic offices (one in South Jersey and one in Orange, NY). Dan and I were looking to settle in an area between the two offices. We pulled out a map and marked a circle around the location in which the Turnpike and Parkway cross. After driving through towns and finding nothing we loved, we remembered a cute romantic comedy “Guess Who” starring Bernie Mac, Zoe Saldana, and Ashton Kutcher. There’s a scene where Ashton Kutcher is sitting on the Cranford train platform. Remembering how cute the town was, we decided to take a weekend drive through Cranford and instantly fell in love. The rest is history.
What are your favorite family activities?
Now that our children are older, they’re over with spending time with Dan and me. We do however enjoy traveling. We try to take at least 4 vacations a year. We take an educational trip either abroad or somewhere in the US that is rich in history, a trip to a tropical beach, we head south during spring break, and to a lake in the summer. We still enjoy the license plate game and quizzing the kids on songs playing on the radio when traveling long distances.
What’s your favorite restaurant and/or place to shop?
I honestly don’t have a favorite restaurant. I’m not a picky eater. Give me french fries and a good burger or rice and beans and I’m sold. But if I had to pick, I’d say Manny’s in Clark. It’s our go-to when we can’t decide what to have for dinner because we can all get something completely different.
I prefer to do most of my shopping online. As a busy working mom, I don’t have much time for browsing stores. My daughter and I do enjoy Augusta Mae in Cranford on a quiet day and I very much enjoy perusing the fun items at Cougar Headquarters (also in Cranford).
What was the best advice on motherhood that you ever received?
The best advice I’ve received about motherhood actually came from my own mom. She told me that children are born with personalities and there is nothing we can do the change them. As a parent, our role is simply to help, or at least attempt to help them make good decisions.
As a mom of two very strong-willed and opinionated people, I hear my mom telling me this on a regular basis.
Tell us about your job or passion.
I am very fortunate to have a job that I absolutely love. As an orthodontist, my main job is straightening teeth and addressing jaw discrepancies, but it goes far beyond that. We have the opportunity to help individuals who are afraid/apprehensive about visiting the dentist become more comfortable in a dental setting. Not only do we see our patients more often than their dentist, but our procedures also tend to be milder and less “scary”. My greatest joy is meeting a very nervous/anxious patient and watching his/her comfort level improve with each appointment. By the end of treatment, many of them actually enjoy coming to see us.
I also feel very grateful watching our patients grow and develop from young children to young adults; we see many patients for phase I treatment so their first visit with us may be as early as 7 and continue into retention in their late teenage years. It’s a joy to watch them grow while contributing to helping them feel more confident at least in their smiles.
What inspired you to follow this career?
My orthodontist, Dr. Newhart. I was late losing my baby teeth so I didn’t start orthodontic
treatment until my junior year of high school. Until then, I’d never met anyone who absolutely loved his/her job. He was always happy and smiling. He always wore jeans and a Hawaiian shirt (I grew up in Southern California) with the top two buttons undone and always carried a coffee mug. I remembered thinking “I want his job”. 12 years later, I was more than a former patient, I was a member of his amazing profession.
Anything we missed?
Not only do I get to do a job that I absolutely love, I get to do that job with my best friend and husband. Dan is our office manager so he handles everything from coordinating new patients and insurance and billing to office and equipment repairs. It’s amazing to have someone in the day-to-day who is just as invested in our patients and our practice as me.
As far as hobbies go, reading and walking are two things I can’t live without. As a lifelong early bird, I spend the beginning of every weekday morning at the gym, then hit the pavement for a 30-minute power walk where I get to watch the sun come up. Every evening you’ll find me snuggled on my couch reading a good book which allows me to wind down from my busy day. Orthodontics can be both mentally and physically taxing and these two daily resets make me a better orthodontist and a better mom.
Would you like to be featured
in an upcoming issue?
Please feel free to send your