BROOKLYN (PIX11) — A domestic violence survivor beamed on Monday and showed off her new smile more than 20 years after her ex-husband knocked out her teeth.
Rose Counts, an Ohio woman, came to Brooklyn for a surgical procedure, courtesy of Dr. Daniel Rubinshtein. The doctor caught wind of Counts’ story on social media after she posted that she left her gas station job at Sheetz because of their controversial “smile policy.” He got in touch with Counts and offered to help her out, free of charge.
“This is what puts fuel in my fire,” Dr. Rubinshtein said. “This is the reason why I got into this profession, to make a difference in people’s lives.”
His office flew Counts out to New York City twice. They needed to rebuild her teeth for both functionality and cosmetics. A team of around a dozen people worked on Counts’ teeth, Rubinshtein said.
Before seeing her new smile on Monday, Counts said she was afraid. Dr. Rubinshtein walked her over to a mirror and she took a deep breath, then looked into the mirror.
“Oh my god,” she said before she hugged Dr. Rubinshtein.
She thanked Dr. Rubinshtein and looked back into the mirror.
“I could stand and look at myself for hours,” Counts said.
Counts said Sheetz offered her a job back, but she has declined and plans to work as a nurse aide. Sheetz told PIX11 News’s sister station WTAJ that the company was discontinuing the “smile policy.”
“I’m excited to be able to have a conversation with someone and not be like, ‘Are they looking at my mouth? I want to hide,’” Counts previously said.
If you or anyone you know is a victim of Domestic or Gender-Based Violence, you can call the NYC 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-621-HOPE, dial 311 or visit the Family Justice Center in your borough.Find more domestic violence resources online.