If you’re lucky enough to have all of your teeth as well as access to professional dental care, you’re luckier than you may know. Like most, you probably just take it for granted that you can talk and laugh and smile without feeling ashamed or worried.
But there are many who simply do not have that luxury. For a wide variety of reasons ranging from poverty to depression, some people do not take care of their oral health and what often results is an unhealthy and unattractive smile. In their daily lives, this problem doesn’t just impact their ability to get a date or a job, but to feel confident in even the smallest interaction with others.
Regardless of the past mistakes that lead people to having a smile full of significantly stained or broken teeth, good dentists do not judge. In fact, many excellent dentists seek to help when and where they can. In the past year, there have been several heartwarming stories of people with badly damaged smiles getting a second chance at life thanks to a little (or a lot) of professional dentistry…
What Goes Around Comes Around
Harvor Davis is a Dallas man who, at one time in his life, had the misfortune of being homeless. He got a helping hand from a non-profit called SoupMobile, who discovered that Davis was living in his truck and suffering from badly neglected, decaying teeth that hadn’t seen a dentist in quite a while.
After Davis got back on his feet and eventually became the Senior Warehouse Manager of SoupMobile, the founder of the organization arranged to have Davis treated and given dental implants by a Texas dentist, Lee Fitzgerald, who did the job pro bono had this to say after giving Davis his smile back, “I am touched by the heart of a man who comes from a place where he had so little yet has given of himself so much.
Serve & Protect
An unfortunate truth that’s been exposed in recent years is the difficulty that our country’s veterans have in getting the health care they need. One real story that demonstrates that fact is that of William Bell, an Arkansas vet who lacked dental insurance and doesn’t qualify for free VA dental care.
Over the years, this meant that Bell had ignored his teeth, allowing them to become increasingly damaged. “I didn’t like to go out a whole lot because I’d have to meet people face to face, and I didn’t like the way I looked,” Bell said.
Luckily, Bell’s VA doctor decided to contact the Health Mouth Movement, a program that gives free dental care to those who need it most. They were able to remove his decayed teeth and provide him with a set of dentures that has jump-started his confidence and his desire to have a happier, more social life.
Service with a Smile
Timirie Shibley, the owner of the Doo-Dah Diner in Wichita, Kansas was a bit worried about hiring Brian Maixner because of what customers might say about his badly damaged teeth. But he got a big surprise when a customer from out of town approached Shibley to inquire about the well-loved waiter.
Attorney Fred Boettcher didn’t want to be rude or complain – on the contrary, he wanted to offer Maixner the $25,000 he’d need to fix his smile. Boettcher had dealt with similar issues in his youth so he was sympathetic and eager to use his current success to help someone else. Of course, Maixner was happy to accept the generous offer: “I am a guy, and I am not scared to admit it, I cried a little bit,” he said. Today he’s proud to flash his pearly white smile everywhere he goes.
These are just a few examples of the ways that healthy teeth can turn a person’s life around. If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy smile today, be diligent about keeping it that way for the rest of your life.