TAMPA, Fla. — In practice for over 30 years, orthodontist Dr. Michael Devito helps children get proper dental care.
- Orthodontist fixes foster children's teeth
- Former patient thankful for Devito's work
- Orthodontist will continue to make change
At the Clearwater office of Dr. Devito, a visit always begins with a greeting by Coco, the official office puppy.
“Our world is movement of teeth. We don’t do fillings, we don’t do the cleaning. We just redecorate. We rearrange,” Devito said.
For many years, Dr. Devito’s patients have been kids in foster care at the Florida Sheriff’s Youth Ranch.
“The nurse at the ranch, whenever she sees a situation of a child there who could use my services, is going to be with them long enough for me to complete my job, bring them by and we take care of them,” Devito said.
For the young ones, there is no charge. Ever.
Eighteen-year-old Kira Olmo and 10-year-old Connor Tuttle are examples of what Dr. Devito does for his patients.
“We had a tooth that was way out of position that was really going to be a lot of an embarrassment to him. We’re going to fix that up for him,” Devito said when asked about Tuttle.
Another former youth ranch patient, Carrie Thomas thanks Dr. Devito for her beautiful smile after years of being self-conscious.
But Dr. Devito is quick to downplay any hero talk.
“The world’s a big place and we’re not all mother Teresa, so I think being satisfied with changing some little piece you can put your hands on is the key,” Devito said.