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Brandy never received proper dental care as a child. Later as an adult, an abusive relationship led her to bulimia – eating and then purging – in an attempt to appease her abuser.
She has now turned her life around and married the love of her life, Dan. Brandy tells The Doctors, “For the first time ever, my life is where I want it to be.” But her teeth had already been ruined. She has broken teeth and is afraid of a lethal dental infection, but the family can’t afford to fix her teeth.
Brandy is not alone – there are 6.5 million bulimics in U.S. ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork asks Brandy where she found the resolution to give up the destructive practice of binging and purging. Brandy explains that one day she passed out while purging. Her husband found her there and she realized “it had to stop.” She says, ”I made the decision that I had to be stronger than my disorder.”
“You’re here for a reason. You’ve done the hard part,” says Dr. Stork.
The Doctors send Brandy to Dentist Dr. Sargon Lazarof. Her history of bulimia is a real problem, he finds: “Because of her past bulimia history, the acid has destroyed a lot of the enamel of her teeth.”
However, he says he can replace her teeth immediately, in one visit. “You're going to walk out eating, chewing, and smiling.”
Brandy has been through a lot of trauma, and Vista Psychological and Counseling Center has volunteered to give her free counseling for a year to help her adjust. “This is a new world for you,” says Dr. Stork. "You're going to have to get used to what it's like to go out in the world and smile!"
If you or someone you know has an eating disorder contact the National Eating Disorder Association at 1-800-931-2237.