During this testimonial, Candy discusses the smile rehabilitation with dental implants she received at Smiles for Life. Prior to receiving her implants, she was constantly hiding her mouth when she smiled, and never felt comfortable when laughing. Now that she has implants, which she received in a single day, she has a restored zest for life and is proud to share her smile.
Candy: I grew up very poor. My family was very poor. We were unable to obtain proper dental care for me as a child. I had very poor dental health. Grew up into an adult. I became a wife, became a mother, had to put my children first and I became second. Over the years, my dental health just deteriorated. So I never tried to let it show. You could be ashamed of it, but I didn't want to teach that to my children. So I stayed strong and did the best I could.
You don't smile. You do not smile with your mouth open. You just kind of close your lips and do like that. You can't. You don't want to focus on something that will draw attention to it. You don't wear lipstick when you want to be that pretty mom, that pretty soccer mom. You don't want other people to see because there's nothing there and it makes you look very awkward.
Female: I remember you never smiled. When you smiled, you hid your mouth. I was just... You showed happiness in your eyes and not your smile. I felt like you were never happy because I never saw you smile. I know you definitely always put me first and Trenton, and I felt so bad for everything I had to put you through that you could not have beautiful teeth.
Candy: My thoughts leading up to it, it was so surreal. I didn't think this would be something that I would ever accomplish, being able to have the proper teeth. It was an all-day event, but everything was done within one day. You're very comfortable in the chair. They keep you nice and warm. They're right there beside you, asking you if you need anything, if you need to take a break. They're managing your pain very, very well. I never felt any pain. And then they all gathered out in the front lobby and they walked me out, and my son was standing there.
Male: She came out behind about, like, four or five different people that were kind of in front of her hiding her from me. Then they stepped away and I finally got to see her. I just kind of stared at her for a few minutes and...
Candy: And he stared at me and he stared at me and he stared at me. I said, "You need to stop looking at me because I'm very self-conscious right now." He looked back at me and he said, "Mom, you're beautiful." He said, "I've never seen you with teeth."
Male: I remember giving her a big hug. Started crying just a little bit. I just told her how beautiful she was.
Female: I came over to her house when I got off work because I knew she was getting...you were getting them done. And I remember you had your hands over your mouth because you did not want to show me because you were still very self-conscious.
Female: You took your hands from your mouth and you showed me that big, gorgeous smile. I just... I was so excited. We work together so I see you all the time.
Female: I remember when you came to work with your teeth and you just shined them things so bright, and then, of course, we made the nickname for you at work. This was Pearl.
Candy: Yeah, they called me Pearl for a long time.
Female: Pearl because of her pearly whites.
Candy: Yes. It's just been amazing, amazing. I'm able to eat better. I can chew my food better. I have better digestive health. And I'm very outspoken now. And I have a lot more confidence. It is much easier to talk now. But I eat celery sticks, carrot sticks, apples, cashews. You name it, I can chomp it down now. I'm more outgoing. I have more confidence. I feel like I can talk to people without having to have my hands up in front of my face, trying to guard that bad look. I can wear the biggest, brightest, reddest lipstick and it just shows beautiful. It's just wonderful. Just got to make sure you don't get lipstick on your teeth.
Female: You make your granddaughter smile. You make me and Trenton smile. You and dad are just wonderful together now with your smile. You make him smile. It's just you're more confident in your body and who you are, and you're ready to show everybody who you can be.