A WOMAN who lost all her teeth after battling a drug addiction since the age of 12, is now on a mission to break the stigma surrounding dentures.
Faith Hill, 23, regularly posts videos on social media showing herself with and without dentures in hopes of encouraging negative connotations to be quashed.
The former cleaner was hooked on cannabis at 12-years-old and by 15, was addicted to more harmful substances, in particular Methamphetamines.
Faith was in and out of rehab from her mid-teens, and had been arrested numerous times, eventually becoming sober at 21 years of age.
When she became clean, Faith decided it was time to restore her smile, something she’d neglected for years, even prior to her drug use.
Faith explains: "I went through six years of having a hard addiction to meth. My teeth took the hardest hit.
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"I already had dental issues prior to my addiction, but because I neglected myself and was depressed, I was on a path to destroying myself. I went to the dentist a few times during this period, but I never followed up my appointments.
"When I became sober, I had just 13 teeth left. It was rough but I made the decision to get them all out.
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“It was the hardest decision of my life as I felt like I was letting go of a part of myself, even though they were all broken.
Growing up in an environment where drug-taking was normalised, Faith, from Missouri, US, revealed she started smoking cannabis before her teens, but is extremely proud of how far she’s come in recent years.
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She said: "I started smoking weed at 12, so I was very young, but I was surrounded by it in my family and the people around me.
“I grew up telling myself I wouldn’t do it, but I eventually went down a road I didn't want to venture on.
"At 14 I started heavily drinking and then at 15 I started taking pills – that’s when I found meth.
“I ended up going to rehab at 15 but I had no desire to quit so when I came out, I went straight back to taking drugs.
During her darkest periods, Faith even tried to take her own life and saw no escape from the only life she knew.
She said: "Going through my addiction I didn’t care about myself at all, I didn’t see myself making it out alive.
"On 13th October 2018, I tried to take my own life and was revived in hospital.
“I went through some rough things but going through sobriety was so hard. I didn’t want to get a job because I didn’t want to talk because of the state of my teeth.
"I couldn’t be myself and I ended up becoming an introvert, living like a recluse.
“I have a big personality and having to hide myself away for so long took a mental toll on me.
Faith dropped out of school when she was 17 and was arrested a few times too.
However, the final time she relapsed is what Faith states saved her.
She continued: “The final time I was arrested I was sent to another rehab unit. It was the longest programme I’d been on, but I relapsed again.
"The final relapse was my turning point though. That's when I quit for good. I was 21 and I started to make positive changes.
“It made me realise how bad I was, and I wanted to get off drugs and to go back to the way I used to live.
“The day I decided to completely change my life was on my sister’s birthday on July 10th.
Faith is now embracing her new life with her new teeth and regularly posts videos of herself on TikTok, encouraging others to follow suit.
She said: “I was so happy to get new teeth and now I want to break the stigma of dentures and pave the way to help others who have them.
"I was at the lowest point in my life, and I'm showing how having dentures isn't a bad thing.
“I felt very alone in my teeth journey, as people around me didn’t have this problem.
“I got them at 22 and felt like the only young person to have dentures, but when I looked on TikTok, I found so many people have false teeth.
"I now get thousands of people messaging me for advice and I just want to help them and to tell them they shouldn't hide it.
“The best thing is to embrace having them whilst being honest and open about it.
"I’ve fallen back in love with myself and I'm finally at peace with myself.
“I feel complete and fully motivated with life so I'm now reaping the benefits.
"I've walked through flames to get to where I am today, but I wouldn't change my story for the world.
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“I can see how far I’ve come, and I appreciate everything.
"It's so weird to think back to the person I was, I’m a completely different person now."
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