Hi Ladies! I went to the dentist today. Just for a cleaning (and a lecture on flossing!). It got me thinking about all the Hollywood smiles I see on TV. Now, I’ve had braces on my teeth, one professional whitening treatment, and many, many Crest White strips. I always felt lucky that my parents stressed good oral health, and that I had inherited my mom’s ‘strong’ teeth. Dad had terrible teeth. But here’s the thing. Terrible teeth used to just mean either extremely crooked, or soft and susceptible to cavities. But as the bar for Hollywood perfection continues to rise, it seems that teeth today have to be perfectly straight, brilliantly white, uniform in shape, no gaps, and neither too small (chiclets!) nor too large (horsey!).
Growing up, I avoided fillings mostly due to aforementioned strong teeth. I know this because once at age 11 when I was lording my lack of cavities over my sister (yep, she got Dad’s teeth), our humorless dentist informed me “that’s only because you have strong teeth, not because you’re taking good care of them”. Well thank you for THAT, Dr. Mixon! Did I say humorless? Regardless, years later with very few fillings, braces-straightened teeth, and a little whitening made me pretty satisfied with my smile.
Until I started going to a dentist who offered Lumineers (a brand of veneers that can make any smile perfect). During my first appointment with him, he asked if I’d ever considered getting lumineers? I wondered who he was talking to. (It was me.) But why? Weren’t my teeth pretty close to perfect? Nope. Turns out he wondered if the two teeth on either side of my two front teeth bothered me. Whhaaaaat? Turns out they’re are a tad smaller than the fronts. Ooooooof. How do I even have the courage to smile for the camera? I was truly shocked and just mumbled ‘hmmm, no, not really’. Ahem. Sheesh. And then of course, it’s all I could think about. I nearly rear-ended someone driving home because I was so busy looking in the mirror at the tiny chiclets framing my two horse teeth! I started looking at everyone’s teeth. And what I found is that most ‘normal’ people fall into the older category of good teeth and bad teeth. But turn on the TV or go to the movies, and you’ll see one cosmetically enhanced smile after the other. And there is nothing wrong with that. Again, it’s just raised the bar for all of us who have slightly-less-than-perfect teeth. Hope we can live with ourselves!!
P.S. I don’t go to that dentist anymore . . .