Are Good Teeth Important? We Have The Answer
I have had good teeth most of my life thanks to a grueling 4 years of orthodontic work as a child. Oh, I despised my appliances, headgear, and braces (with elastics) at the time! But, let me tell you how grateful I am that I no longer have a large, unsightly gap between my front teeth or a crooked smile. My only hiccup came during the teenage years, where I didn’t wear my retainer. Thanks to this adolescent neglect, I now have a sideways incisor that I un-affectionately call my “snaggle tooth.” Despite how minor this flaw is, I have been self-conscious about it for years. I was teased about it when I was younger, and I guess I have never quite gotten over it. At one point, I was even nervous to smile, and I’m always careful to angle my head in pictures so it doesn’t stick out.
Are Good Teeth Important?
But I never realized how important good teeth are until I started working at a dental office. Thinking back, several experiences should have hit this concept home for me– a boyfriend who smashed his face into a curb and had broken teeth for years; a great guy I could have dated, but I couldn’t see past the gaps in his teeth; and my inability to watch a popular British TV show based in an office. I’m ashamed to discover I have always had an unconscious prejudice floating under the surface about people’s teeth. And I know if I have it, it’s likely a large percentage of other people have it, too.
Sad, but true.
The Things I’ve Seen
I can’t imagine what it would be like to live without attractive and functional teeth. I can polish off a plate of ribs or chew through a thick steak, smile whenever I feel like it and enjoy what I see when I look in the mirror (as long as the angle is right!) Working in a specialist’s office has really opened my eyes. I now see firsthand how deeply one’s smile affects self-confidence and quality of life. Patients with trauma, pain, missing/broken teeth, discoloration and poorly fitting dentures walk through our door all day long. I have seen pictures of some of the scariest smiles imaginable. I have seen people cover their teeth out of embarrassment when they talk. I have seen patients at their wit’s end with pain.
On the flip side, I have seen that happiness coming from functional, beautiful teeth is real. I have seen firsthand the change in people’s faces as they leave with their treatment completed. Whether it’s a whiter smile, a crown that fills in a gap or new dentures that fit right, there is a happy glow around people that isn’t visible when they first come in. It`s amazing how biting into apples, chatting and laughing with friends, eating out at restaurants and feeling like you have a beautiful smile can make such a difference for people.
The Best Part
I love it when our patients come to the front desk to show off their new smile. It’s one of the highlights of my work. And I know it’s Dr. Bishop and the rest of the staff’s passion to help as well. He once told me he wants to “change the world through dentistry”. I’m seeing it happen, one patient at a time.