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Staten Island Orthodontist Donates Braces to Middle Schooler in Need

Diamond Braces is committed to assisting those within our communities in need of orthodontic care – and this story is just another example of how we go above and beyond to help our neighbors. 

12-year-old Aryah Ordonez is a friendly, exuberant middle schooler on Staten Island who struggled with self-esteem issues related to her misaligned teeth that did not develop properly. "A lot of people would judge me," Ordonez said. "They would say ‘what's wrong with your teeth?’" Ordonez used her mask not just as protection from COVID-19 – but from her peers’ criticisms as well. While in the classroom, Ordonez maintained her bubbly personality behind her mask, but when classes moved online, where the mask wasn’t necessary, her personality changed.

Ordonez’s teacher, Dina Rocco, noticed this drastic change and knew she needed to do something. "She came the first day of school with other kids wearing masks," Ordonez's teacher Dina Rocco said. "She was funny, she was thriving,” but when online classes started, Rocco said Ordonez, “was a different person. Her camera wasn't on, and when it was, she wasn't speaking, she was covering her mouth. I knew I had to help this angel.”

Since Ordonez’s family doesn’t have insurance, Rocco offered to fund the treatment herself. Knowing the physical and emotional benefits of a healthy smile, Diamond Braces stepped in to provide the necessary orthodontic care for free. “She’ll be able to chew well,” said Dr. Eliana Sarit, a Diamond Braces orthodontist, “and obviously, the ability to smile and feel confident about it.”

Straightened teeth do more than just look nice – though that is a crucial benefit of orthodontic care! A healthy smile assists with chewing, digestion, speaking injury prevention, overall mouth health, and overall body health. As the mouth is among the first stops for potentially harmful bacteria, a healthy mouth can act as a barrier to germs that could slip through the cracks of someone with an unhealthy smile. Outside of physical benefits, a healthy smile can boost self-esteem and inspire confidence while speaking. When teeth are properly aligned, it’s much easier to speak clearly and concisely, which can help with public speaking, job interviews, or casual conversation amongst friends, family, and colleagues.

“I’ll be more outgoing,” Ordonez said about her new smile, “and I’ll probably make more friends.”

Shout-outs to the Staten Island team for showing our community what Diamond Braces is all about – making orthodontic care accessible to everyone!