Improving someone’s self-confidence is terrific

Mar 5, 2020#CommuniTea Stories

👤 Dr Greg White, Orthodontics Volunteer

☕ Coffee/tea order: Flat white

“I started as a dentist in 1977 and became an Orthodontist 15 years later. I now volunteer twice a month in North Richmond Community Health’s oral health program. I carry out orthodontic treatment (I get crooked teeth and make them straight).

Several years ago, I saw an article in the newsletter of the Victorian Orthodontic Society’s newsletter about an orthodontist, Dr McGuiness who was working there. I contacted him and asked if I could help at NRCH ~ I don’t think he was looking for anyone to join the program at that time.

One of the first people I met had come from Eastern Europe and had two very badly impacted teeth, she had been told she couldn’t be treated. So I looked at what she had and wrote a letter to the dental hospital so that an oral surgeon could remove the badly impacted teeth. We were then able to proceed with her treatment satisfactorily. This woman, having had what was a very unsightly smile with big gaps and things, was certainly delighted at the end of the results – she was smiling and laughing. In fact, she didn’t want to have her braces taken off, because it meant she wouldn’t have to come back here!

We don’t do anything other Orthodontists couldn’t do. It’s just that I had the opportunity to see her, treat her and do things for her, which made her life a whole lot better. Everything has its ups and downs, but to be able to do things that improve people’s self-esteem and self-confidence, it’s just terrific. The rewarding part is seeing the end result where people’s personalities have changed and their self-confidence has skyrocketed.

I’ll keep doing this while I have the time and energy. If and when I eventually retire from my private practice, I may be able to spend a bit more time here. I’m still quite young!

My advice to everyone is, “brush your teeth and use dental floss. You don’t have to floss all your teeth, just the ones you want to keep. If you be true to your teeth and they won’t be false to you.”

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