Social Issues
Brazilian Dentist Travels To Treat The Teeth Of Poor People For Free And Here Are 30 Transformations (Interview)
Everybody can be an everyday superhero, no matter their profession.
Brazilian Dentist Travels To Treat The Teeth Of Poor People For Free And Here Are 30 Transformations (Interview)
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Everybody can be an everyday superhero, no matter their profession. The perfect example that illustrates that this adage is practical, not just theoretical, is Brazilian dentist Felipe Rossi. He founded the NGO Por1sorriso and travels the world, bringing back smiles to some of the poorest people on the planet. He and his colleagues fix low-income individuals’ teeth for free.

We’ve collected some of the inspiring and beautiful photos showing how people looked before Rossi reached out to help them, and how they looked afterward. The pictures show just how much dentists can help restore people’s confidence and give them hope to live their lives and aim higher.

Get ready to smile. A lot. Upvote the photos that left an impression on you and leave a comment telling us what you think of Rossi’s incredible charity. And if any of you Pandas are on the fence about becoming dentists, we hope that this post helps you decide that it’s a worthwhile calling.

In an interview with Bored Panda, Terri Rimmer told her own heartfelt and ‘miracle’ story about how getting her teeth fixed changed her life for the better. “Before surgery, my life was just a black hole. I spent years not being able to smile in pictures and it was always humiliating because people taking pictures in a group setting kept saying, ‘smile’ and I couldn't do it,” Terri said.

“Also I had to give up so many things that I couldn't eat that I loved for years like fresh cherries and salads. I hadn't had a salad in 18 years! After surgery, I can smile in pictures and I have confidence! When I put my dentures in for the first time and went into the bathroom at the dentist I just kept looking at myself in the mirror and smiling. It was like my face was plugged in after all these years! My eyes just lit up and my face was just lifted! Even my mom and other people noticed.” Scroll down for the full interview.

Terri said that her dental condition was so bad that all of her teeth had to be removed: “I had no bone at all in my upper jaw, so they had to borrow bone from a cadaver. They had to remove the top teeth first, which there were only a few of and the recovery from that was excruciating.

“I was in pain for two weeks. The bottom area– the recovery was much smoother but it took me several months to fully recover. It was painful but very worth it! They had to give me four shots in the roof of my mouth and take four wax molds of my mouth. I cried hysterically because it was so painful. The pain medication I was prescribed after surgery upset my stomach too bad so I had to quit taking it. I had an extremely hard time. They put four screws in my mouth and four implants before they could make my dentures.”

Terri went on to reveal the reason why her dental condition got as bad as it did. “I would like people to understand that how I wound up losing all my teeth was from extreme depression after my boyfriend died of cancer in 2005. I stopped brushing my teeth and though I was on 5 medications for depression and anxiety, it wasn't enough.”

However, things have gotten much better since then: “People definitely greet me warmly and want to interact with me more so than when I didn't have any teeth.”

38-year-old Rossi is an aesthetic dentist who, in 2016, founded the Por1sorriso NGO, and also became its Director of Fundraising. The well-known doctor, like most people, wants to spread goodness to his loved ones, his community, his country, as well as the planet. And his desire to do good has already had a large positive impact in low-income communities not only in Brazil, but also Kenya, Mozambique, and elsewhere.

Rossi’s philosophy is to help those who don’t have the means to get help themselves. That’s why he doesn’t charge the people that he helps. “This assistance is very different from projects where people simply get toothbrushes and toothpaste,” the dentist wrote on his Instagram account.

According to R7, there are over 4,000 volunteers registered in the NGO’s database. The reality, however, is much different. “There are costs that people have to bear and, with that, many people end up giving up on the action,” Rossi explained that wanting to help and actually helping are two very different things. He also mentioned that on missions he and his team usually transport around two tons of equipment.

Good oral health is more important than you’d think. It’s one of the things that can help you lead a healthy life or make you be prone to constant illness. But let’s say that you were in a helicopter crash and there’s some evil force after you: how would you go about taking care of your gleaming pearls when you’re lost in the middle of nowhere, without a dentist (let alone a toothbrush) in sight?

Well, Know Prepare Survive suggests that oral hygiene is important in the wilderness and you can keep your mouth, teeth, and tongue clean using a willow brush. Just cut off the end of a branch and use it as a toothbrush. The sap will eliminate tartar and stop it building up near your gum line, thus preventing cavities. Being in a life-or-death situation is not an excuse to stop brushing your teeth.

Comments (98)
Loki’s Lil Butter Knife
Really beautiful and heartwarming post. The transformations are incredible and all the end smiles are really infectious. Thank you Doctor Rossi (and other healthcare humanitarians) who make a difference in these people’s lives. For anyone who thinks that fixing someone’s teeth is not doing anything to help these people, please think again. It can be a true boost to self-esteem, and learning about and practicing good oral hygiene can stave off some truly serious infections and horrible pain.
That's awesome! They must have a lot of donors because a lot of thee look like veneers and they're pricey!! Dental is crazy over priced
Wow! These photos make me so happy and the people in the photos look genuinely happy as well! It's amazing what a good set of teetch can do. I just hope they all look after their new teeth! ?
This is , tear inducing. Amazing, just absolutely beautiful. My teeth got weak from having twins, then having chemo right after... I still cannot afford to fix them. Seeing the happiness the beautiful outcome and how happy they are is just so awesome. When your teeth are ugly like mine you don't want to smile, or eat around anyone ever..
Cyndi H
I wish I could fix my teeth like this... :(
"Being in a life-or-death situation is not an excuse to stop brushing your teeth." WTF? At some point, some people who are in danger or in warfare have other, more pressing issues than brushing their teeth. Like, you know, finding something to eat, finding somewhere to sh*, and probably finding somewhere to give birth. What a stupid statement.
Dental care should not be a luxury. I live and work in NYC and make a decent salary. My office does not offer dental insurance. Even with the "discount" dental plans that you purchase, the cost for one root canal/crown is $1900! Who can afford that???
OK, now let's work on the living conditions so these people can keep the teeth they have.
MN Free Spirit
Did anyone else just smile through the whole post?
Monty Glue
These are very joyful people in spite of their situation. And when shown kindness they are radiant!
Look at the big different with and without teeth. Dental care is overpriced, and this dentist is def godsend. We need more people like him.
I was wondering how common it was for fluoride to be added to drinking water. In the UK it's been added for about 40 years, so people above a certain age have bad teeth, whilst people who have always drank this water have better teeth.
I love this! While cutting a tree branch ( 1 1/2 years ago), it snapped up to my mouth and broke my upper front teeth. Because our dental insurance was maxed, it took a while to repair the damage. That was only a few months of covering my smile. I'm so happy these people get a chance after years of it.
Grumble O'Pug
Awesome guy
Thai Ya Long
Dwayne Dixon
Wow, I officially have a new hero!
This was great! Very nice to see the joy on their faces.
London England
The people are wearing the same clothes, so are we talking about dentures? Can anyone explain how the teeth are fixed on the same day?
Naoko Yamaguchi
How heartwarming... so impressed by their happy smiles as well as Dr. Rossi as a great professional.
Linda Matheny
Happy, confident people!!! What an amazing doctor!
May God bless this man. Dental care is soooo expensive. It's so unaffordable. These people would have never had the chance to fix their teeth. Neither can I but I'm employed. Maybe this will help them get their lives back on track. Nowadays jobs pay a lot of attention to physical appearance, even if it's an office job. So I hope they can apply for better jobs or any job for that matter.
Y John
This is such a wonderful thing the Dr. is doing and to see the difference, the confidence and the beautiful smiles after is awesome. I made sure my children teeth were always taken care of because as a child mine wasn't. When we went to the dentist it was pull them and that was all. So I made sure that my kids teeth were saved and i love watching them as adults flash their beautiful smiles. It may have meant that my smile was again put on the back burner, I was ok with that. Now it's going to cost an arm and leg to fix my smile which I can't do right now even with insurance and a dental insurance but one day I will be able to. So happy for these people
Paul Mitchell
He looks to be very skilled as well as generous.
AnnieLaurie Burke
He's better than Santa Claus! He gives the gifts of health and self-confidence!
Nile Sandage
Fantastic! Thank you for Sharing, these Amazing Insights! ~ Soft Foods that do not require chewing have entered their diets, and soft very little chew foods are dissolving their front teeth. ~ #WhiteBreadPower, #WhitePower!
This made cry tears of joy. And the after pictures aren't the BS pics you see on Instagram where they are all made up, photo-shopped and fake looking. These are real, genuine people who have been given so much in a "small" way. God bless the volunteers who made this possible!
Valentina Lattante
so beautiful! <3
Cindy Snow
I need this guy! But seriously I wish more doctors/ dentists were in it for helping people not just thetge /
Valerie Lessard
what an incredible dude
The new teeth look so natural in most of these, I would have never guessed they weren't theirs. (I am not sure if this is the right way to speak about these. Implants vs dentures, etc.) Even the coloration is so well done. My only question is the few younger children I saw, teeth move around so much I am a bit surprised they did anything at that age. I don't know much about it though... anyway, lovely post!
Vesna Sunrider
Would he come to Vancouver? I'd appreciate a dentist fixing what dentists and prostheticians from my childhood ruined to the point where I can't afford to fix neither here, nor back home in 3rd-world country ?
Tiny Dynamine
This proves that the measure of success is how much you contribute to society. This dentist is a legend.
Beth Schmidt
It's their eyes that change the most! SO full of light and happiness in the After pic!
Danielle Renee
such a wonderful gift to give them!
Katie Corliss
Yea, that's gonna be me on the left. Im not poor. But I still can't afford dental work without putting it in credit cards. Ugh.
Samhhain Cat
This is why dental should be automatic in all health plans. The improvement in mental health for each of these people will pay for itself over and over again. This is awesome.
Lou Herout
I'm amazed at how natural these transformations appear. This is such an amazing gift that can affect all many parts of a person's life
Jackie Wacky
This is just a beautiful thing to do. Dr Rossi and his team are making an enormous difference to these people’s lives: well done, sir. We need more people people like you in the world.
BG Rey
Bless You Doctor Rossi and others like you who help those who have been tossed away and ignored because they couldn’t afford to have the care they needed. I know what it’s like to suffer with dental pain and not be able to eat healthy & raw veggies, etc. You can see all the gratitude in their eyes and smiles for giving them this wonderful gift! My heart swells with love for you and them.
jungwon park
You're a hero. You've saved 30 Brazilians. You're a real hero.
I have a kind of heart-breaking story. I had a friend since high school who got into a car accident around age 28. He hit pavement head-first and it broke a bunch of his teetch. It shouldn't have, but apparently his dentist growing up wasn't great, and left decay under his filling, so when he hit, most of his teeth just broke off. And he couldn't afford to get them all fixed, so he just let them rot away. He never smiled with his mouth open after that. His laugher was suppressed so that he wouldn't go into a wide grin. A close-lipped smile tends to look like a cynical smile. And that smile and lack of laughing with abandon affected his life ever after. People started to hink he was a jerk. He started getting complaints about bad attitude at work (though nothing else had changed). Truthfully, I think never giving a wide, natural smile to people affected HIM directly. Smiles are physiological.
God Bless this dentist! What a difference made in these people's lives. Their smiles are just amazing!! Happiness, self-confidence is radiating. Brought tears of joy to my eyes.
Is it dental access, price or poor teeth hygine/education that results in the bad teeth? Would be interesting to know where the system is broken.
Steve Goldswain Snr
the mans one of humanity's really good guys respects to him and his team
Paw Paw
My heart just sings at these transformations <3
since i have about 5 upper teeth, i happily live on pbjs
Christine M Quigley
I feel many people are not aware of how important your dental health is. It affects not only your confidence and self-esteem, but your nutrition and cardiac health. Especially with diabetics, who are notorious for ignoring their teeth. A bad dental infection can kill you. I live in NC, and it makes me so sad to see obese adults and children, pushing shopping carts, stuffed with nothing but junk food and soda. Seeing babies drinking soda from baby bottles. That said- this man is an angel for what he does for these people- not just making them smile, but I'm sure changing their lives!
Monster munch
Great post ?
Christine M Quigley
I think many folks don't realize how important dental health is. It affects not only your confidence and self esteem, but your nutrition, and your cardiac health. This is especially important for diabetics, who are notorious for ignoring their teeth. A dental infection can be bad enough to kill you if you don't get treatment. It's a shame that so many people where I live in NC have such poor dental health- poor diet, too much sugar and tobacco, and lack of education. I see it every day , and it makes me very sad to see shopping carts stuffed with junk food, soda being pushed by obese adults and children. Soda in baby bottles- no joke. That said, this dentist is an angel for the service his provides, it's evident in their happy faces!
Ashley Wright
Amazing! How wonderful for these people. Having nice teeth is a real confidence-booster for them.
Debbie Archimedes
Elaine Dodge
Teeth! They make you look more intelligent. Take care of them.
Patrick Shore
''the shadow of your smile...'' paul webster
Jo Choto
We spend so much time reading about violence and murder and disaster and sadness. It's great to be able to focus on people like this dentist who selflessly give so that others may live better. Yay for Bored Panda, for bringing us these stories.
Kirsten Kerkhof
I love how the teeth aren't perfect Hollywood smiles. They all look like they could have been their own teeth, a little yellow, slightly crooked, just like they'd look on normal people who simply cared for their teeth. Amazing!
Yan Imanuel
Beautifully done..congrats doc!
Patricia Campbell
You have no idea of the positive change you have made on these folks lives. Thank you for using your talents to help others. God bless you.
Emily Karl
I absolutely LOVE this. They all look so stunning. Thank you for sharing <3
Those smile says a lot about the heart.
Love those big beautiful smiles!
Chris DiFonso
Awesome! God bless you, Dr. Felipe Rossi.
Krazy Kanuck
as someone who is in a 1st world country, and cant afford to get my missing teeth replaced. Having good teeth has such an impact on a persons life.
Veronique Gagne
Keep the good work! Those smiles are amazing. So heartwarming to see.
Mariana Pinto
Lovely! Thanks for sharing
Gerard Kiekens
Absolutely amazing work that you do. You just restored my faith in humanity a little bit! Have a good life!
What a simple, wonderful thing to do to help people. The joys shines through each after picture
What a simple
Debrina Blackmoon
too bad this isn't available for my daughters and me-i wouldn't even be able to contact this man and there is nothing like this here for poor people like us
Dorothy Parker
This is a great vift, although more for health aspects than cosmetic. I wish more dentists in the United States would do this here, where so many neglect their teeth due to the exorbitant cost of dental care.
Gabriela VK
one of the BEST articles EVER!!!!
I went through this grinning like an idiot. Thank you Doctor Rossi heling these smiles. They are all truly beautiful!
Its crazy how much younger and full of life each person looks!!
Dental health is so undervalued not to mention extremely expensive unless you have good insurance or can pay out or pocket. Both options become less viable as you get older, stop working or have minimal income. In turn it has huge health impacts, and leads to more frequent hospitalization which in turn eats up a lot of resources. It’s a vicious cycle !
Nile Sandage
Tweeting Again! It's #whitebread, #whitesugar, #softfood, not enough real food allowed in commercially made industrial food science, #flavoured a #texture. @wholefoods @publix Brazilian @Dentist Travels To Repair Teeth Gums 30 Transformations @BoredPanda
Debbie Archimedes
But, seriously, how hard is it to brush your teeth?! Cheap too!
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