Leveling the dental playing field

The Odessa Brown Children's Clinic takes care of the whole child. Their medical, dental, mental and nutritional needs, often dealing closely with parents too. It's also a place for children to learn how to care for their teeth at home.

SEATTLE - The Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic takes care of the whole child.  Their medical, dental, mental and nutritional needs, often dealing closely with parents too. It's also a place for children to learn how to care for their teeth at home. 

And most of all, a place where a caring group of people share a passion for helping others.

Most people hate going to the dentist.  Dental assistant Taviasia Grimes knows what that's like, which is why she loves trying to make trips to the dentist a bright and happy memory for kids. 

But for the team at Odessa Brown Children's Clinic, caring for these smiles can still lead to a lot of pain. 

"Little children have 20 teeth. I've pulled 18 teeth on a less than two-year-old before because of rampant decay,” said OBCC Dental Director Dr. Mary Jennings. “I'm a career Community Health dentist and I find this heartbreaking. I'm not tough and resolute. It's heartbreaking."

That's why Dr. Jennings and her team have a mission: to give kids dental care their families can't afford. 

The clinic sees up to 75 kids every day. 

"Health equity is important here,” said Dr. Jennings. “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 make this feel like home, but it's overdue for upgrades. 

"Everything we have is a little bit old and patched,” said Dr. Jennings. “We want some more technology. We have paper charts which is horrifying in the medical world."

Though they're lacking resources, they've got plenty of passion. 

"I just like helping people in general just seeing the kids smile and the parents happy just to give them help,” said Taviasia Grimes.

But for Taviasia, it's more than giving back to her patients and her community-- it's about giving back to the team that also helped her… Because she used to sit in these same chairs.

"Two of the assistants I remember when I was a kid, they actually still work here,” said Grimes. “So it's kind of different seeing them like, oh they used to work in my mouth and now I'm working with them."

"I'm one of those people who think if you were blessed with something you should share it,” said Dr. Jennings. “And so this is the opportunity for me to share. This is a golden opportunity for me to share."

To donate visit: https://giveto.seattlechildrens.org/OBCCspecial

Copyright 2016 KING


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment
More Stories