GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The simple act of smiling.
We don't think much about it, but for Anthony Gordon from Muskegon, it's "scary to have someone look at your face and your mouth … That’s an uncomfortable feeling."
It's uncomfortable because Anthony's smile is painful and causes judgment.
Gordon has spent his whole life battling oral health because he has a vitamin-D deficiency, and some bad choices in his early years led him to spend time incarcerated.
Today, Gordon is a free man and uses his past mistakes to mentor kids in Muskegon.
Helping the youth is Gordon's purpose, but he says his insecurities related to his smile hold him back. "People always think that you’re a big grim mean guy, but you’re not. you just don’t smile."
That's why Gordon applied for Dr. Mark Jesin's $50,000 Smile Again giveaway at Advanced Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Studio in Grand Rapids.
"Anthony was one of our 500 applicants for the program this year, and his application just really stuck out," says Dr. Jesin. "He had some trouble in the past where he was incarcerated, but he didn't let those decisions of his past affect his future."
Dr. Jesin shared with us an excerpt from Gordon's Smile Again application: "You learn not to do anything to irritate your teeth or gums, any more than what it is already. I'm in hiding or hibernation. I work and go home and do not want to do too much." Gordon then describes himself as an elephant with a thorn in his paw. Dr. Jesin says this excerpt showed them the true extent of Gordon's suffering.
His suffering will now come to an end.
Thanks so Dr. Jesin and the team at Advanced Oral Surgery, Gordon now has a brand new smile, customized for him.
No pain, no insecurity.
Gordon tells us this has changed his life forever. "Instead of being the one taking the pictures all the time, I can be in some of the pictures. I can laugh and joke and let them know that there is another side of me than this serious side."
Dr. Jesin says the Smile Again program is their passion at Advanced Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Studio.
If you know someone who could benefit they offer free consultations year-round.
Applications for the fourth year of the Smile Again Giveaway Program will open in September 2021 on their FaceBook page.