Ryan Coutinho, a young boy from Brazil, lost the majority of his teeth at the tender age of three, leaving only a small few remaining in his lower jaw. Ryan lives with his family near Guajeru, a poverty-stricken town in the north east of the country.
During a community project at Ryan’s school he met twenty-five-year-old dentist, Amanda Mattos, who was shocked by the state of the boy’s teeth. Amanda told the BBC, “I had never seen something like this.” Ryan had to have his teeth extracted due to cavities, and ever since has felt very self-conscious. His teacher told Amanda that he was often isolated from the other children and rarely smiled.
Compelled to help the youngster, Amanda kindly offered him dental treatment free of charge. At first, Ryan’s mother was reluctant to accept the offer for fear that he would suffer a similar ordeal to the extractions, but eventually, after a chance meeting two years later, the family gratefully took her up on the offer. Following a series of x-rays and dental impressions at Amanda’s private dental clinic, Ryan finally got his new smile. Now he has his new denture he cannot stop smiling, and feels happy that he has a smile just like his friends.
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