7 Things You Might Not Know about Me, Your Dentist


Dr. Bruce Sexton — Wayland, MI Dentist

Dr. Bruce Sexton has been practicing in the Wayland, MI area since 1984. Having experienced the tragedy cancer can bring, he is a strong proponent of oral cancer screening. He also believes it’s important to always be learning and growing, both personally and professionally. As a compassionate dentist with a lot of knowledge, experience, and heart, Dr. Sexton is proud to serve his community as a family dentist. 

Dr. Sexton took the time to tell us more about himself, his early years, and his approach to dentistry. Here is what he has to say in his own words.

1. I chose dentistry because I thought it would be satisfying.

As a teenager in high school, I planned on going to medical school. I thought the health profession would be a rewarding and satisfying profession. At that time, my father’s best friend was our dentist, Dr. Arnie VanDyk. He spent time telling me the joys and advantages to dentistry, and eventually, those talks sank in. By my second year of college, I had decided that dental school was my goal.

2. I welcome the changes to dentistry technology has brought.

Since I graduated from The University of Michigan School of Dentistry in 1984, almost everything about dentistry has changed. The materials are better and easier to use. The procedures have changed to be less invasive and gentler on the patients. The equipment and technology changes have been incredible. The use of lasers, intraoral cameras, digital X-rays, computers, and scanning teeth for the processing of dental appliances and for the milling of crowns have all had dramatic impacts on the way dentistry is done today.

3. I believe a parent’s attitude about the dentist will determine their child’s future oral health.

Parents need to develop a culture of health for their children’s teeth. Children will follow their parents when it comes to oral hygiene and attitudes about going to the dentist. Parents need to brush, floss, and get regular dental checkups and encourage their children to follow their example.  

Referring to a dental visit as a punishment or as a scary thing is going to cause fear and anxiety in children even before they visit the dentist. Listen for subtle things in your speech. For example, changing “I have to go to the dentist today” to “I get to go to the dentist today” turns what sounds like a chore into a treat.

Setting a good example and bringing your children in for regular dental visits as soon as they get teeth will provide a solid foundation for a lifetime of oral health. 

4. My dental team motivates me day after day.

I am lucky to work with some amazing people. My team is top-notch, which makes my job easier. On top of that, we get along like a work family. We help and support each other and have healthy, fun interactions. It makes coming to work fun and enjoyable. 

5. The Wayland, MI community is my home.

The other thing that gets me to work every day is the relationship we have with our patients. I have down days like everyone else. Inevitably, I will start chatting with the patients for the day and get interested in them and their lives, and they lift my spirits. Working with people is why I was drawn to the profession, and it has continued to be my joy.

Wayland is a wonderful community. I am so glad it became my home. That small town atmosphere is what I enjoy the most. Knowing neighbors and fellow business owners makes everyday life pleasant and rewarding. 

6. Dr. Bruce Sexton loves hunting, the AHL, and art.

Wayland’s location is perfect. We are 20 minutes from downtown Grand Rapids, which is a growing and thriving city with many entertainment and cultural choices. If the city doesn’t interest you, we are minutes away from prime hunting, fishing, and other outdoor recreational opportunities. I enjoy the easy access to Grand Rapids for AHL hockey, minor league baseball, Broadway shows, the Civic Theatre, and dining opportunities. ArtPrize is also a great fall event.

At home in Wayland, I can hunt in my own backyard. My wife and I both deer hunt, so we love being able to go out almost anytime. There is very little you can’t buy in Wayland. The downtown area is also moving toward specialty niche stores that are fun to frequent. Add a top-notch school system, and Wayland can’t be beaten for a hometown.

7. I’m looking out for my patients’ overall health.

Oral health has gone way beyond brushing and flossing. Oral cancers are on the rise. Dry mouth is more and more prevalent. Bacteria in your mouth is being tied to heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and a host of other health issues. 

Everyone needs to work hard to stay healthy. Eating right, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol use all help. Those of us in the dental profession are educating ourselves, so we can give you great advice. We have products to recommend that could help you. So visit your dentist regularly and ask questions. Find out how your ailments may be affected by your oral condition.  Ask Dr. Bruce Sexton what you can do to improve your overall health.