Overcoming our fears is never easy, but it certainly helps when you have a few friendly faces to guide you through. That was the case for Tatsiana “Tanya” Komarovich, a shy, sweet, 11 year old from Belarus. Thanks to the Smiles for Everyone Foundation’s Community Smile Project, Tanya received treatment at the Bright Now!® Dental office in Maple Valley, Washington, earlier this summer.

Having been to the dentist in her country only once, Tanya explained through a translator that during that one visit she’d received nine injections, which really frightened her. However, she was game to try again, after being sponsored by longtime Bright Now! ® Dental patient Leslie Sanders through a program called Hope for Chernobyl’s Child, a non-profit organization that helps children affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

With the help of a translator, Lead Dentist Dr. Jimin Park and Dental Assistants Charlene Waham and Kimberly McReynolds talked Tanya through her dental procedures. “They were very calm and patient with her,” Office Manager Brittany McGuire recalls. Once at ease, Tanya began to smile and even declared the anesthetic she received was “not so bad.”

Now, Tanya reports she’s no longer afraid of the dentist and promises to brush her teeth at least twice a day. But Tanya wasn’t the only one who left the experience smiling. According to the team, helping a child overcome her fear of the dentist boosted their morale and reaffirmed their love for what they do.