Local dentists give free dental care to shelter residents

Ella Castle

HOWARD – Eric Talbot has avoided smiling in front of other people since he was 15. He’d duck and dodge photos or hide behind someone when his friends reached for cameras. If he couldn’t avoid the spectacle, he’d stand uncomfortably with his lips pursed. He didn’t want anybody to see […]

Michelle Klass, a resident of N.E.W. Community Shelter, hasn't been to the dentist in 20 years. Despite her history of bad dentists, the aides at Meadowbrook Smiles were gentle and took good care of her, she said.

HOWARD – Eric Talbot has avoided smiling in front of other people since he was 15.

He’d duck and dodge photos or hide behind someone when his friends reached for cameras. If he couldn’t avoid the spectacle, he’d stand uncomfortably with his lips pursed. He didn’t want anybody to see his teeth.

“I was always self-conscious about my smile because my teeth were just, well, ugly,” Talbot said. “I want to be able to smile again.”

Talbot has a lot to smile about. Since coming to Green Bay a year ago and struggling with addiction and homelessness, he’s been sober for 120 days, received a voucher for housing and will soon be able to move out of the N.E.W. Community Shelter, where he’s been living for the past 2½ months.

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