Share Your Smile Stories is a series by the Oral Health Group that features inspiring stories from oral health professionals.
For a number years I worked in a public health dental clinic, providing preventative services to children and youth that could not afford care at private dental office.
These families were so grateful for the government funded services. Often families that came to the clinic where newcomers to Canada, dealing with many struggles.
There is one situation that I remember clearly. A mother of three children was at the clinic for their first appointment. Each child appeared to have teeth with urgent issues, and they had never had a cleaning before. It was a top priority to clean the children’s teeth and get them into see a dentist based on the findings, in addition to discussing changes with diet and home care practices needed.
I could tell mom was very overwhelmed and needed someone to talk to. It seemed she was comfortable enough to open up and tell me her story.
Her husband was back home and she was new to Canada, barely even able to put food on the table. She told me she stays up at night crying. I let her know I was there to listen and help the best I could. I took time to discuss all the resources available and explained that her well-being and mental health is something we need to make sure is taken care of so she can be the rock her children need her to be. I gave her some contact information on other programs public health offers and groups to support her.
I knew when she left that day, she felt a little lighter knowing that her children’s oral health was being taken care of and some steps were being made in the right direction.
When mom left she gave me a big huge. And I knew she was smiling inside and out.
This story has been submitted by Lisa Hardill (@strictlydentalpro)