Most people hate going to the dentist.
Taviasia Grimes knows what that's like, which is why as a Dental Assistant, she loves trying to make trips to the dentist a bright and happy memory for the kids visiting.
For the team at Seattle's Odessa Brown Children’s Dental Clinic, the experience can be painful in a different way. We talked to Dr. Mary Jennings, Dental Director at OBCC.
"Little children have 20 teeth. I've pulled 18 teeth on a less than two-year-old before because of rampant decay. I'm a career Community Health dentist, and I find this heartbreaking. I'm not tough and resolute. It's heartbreaking."
That's why Doctor Jennings and her team have a mission, to give kids dental care their families can't afford.
"Health equity is important here. Not everybody has a fair seat at the table, and we want to make sure we level the playing field and that everyone is welcome."
The clinic goes a long way to making this feel like home, but it's overdue for upgrades.
"Everything we have is a little bit old and patched. We want some more technology. We have paper charts, which is horrifying in the medical world."
Though they lack resources, they've got plenty of passion.
Taviasia Grimes says, "I just like helping people in general. Just seeing the kids smile and the parents happy; just to give them help."
But it’s more than giving back to her patients and her community; It's also about giving back to the team that also helped her. She used to sit in the same chairs.
"Two of the assistants I remember when I was a kid, they actually still work here. So, it's kind of different seeing them like, oh they used to work in my mouth, and now I'm working with them."
Dr. Jennings says, "This is an opportunity to help somebody that's going to be direct patient care. And it's important to share; it makes you feel good, and it really eases people's burden. It's not an equal world, and I think we have to help each other."
Seattle Children's Odessa Brown Children's Clinic
2101 E Yesler Way, Seattle, WA 98122