Thursday, December 4, 2008

You have a beautiful smile

Daughters #1 and #2 inherited some sort of throwback gene that caused their front teeth to come in sideways/crooked. Our son also suffered from this deviation. Daughter #3 had very straight teeth, but her incisors are prominent. Daughters #1 & #2, and son got braces. Now, here's the story of the one that got away.

Daughter #3 had a cap (because of an adult tooth that never came in) that needed to be replaced. During the visits that happened between her 13th and 14th birthdays, the ortho-assistant began this pitch:

"Do you feel self-conscious about your smile? Do you think your smile could be better? Do you think other girls are prettier?" In hindsight, I almost wish I'd threatened those guys with a lawsuit. I don't actually wish it because I'm not that way, but that's not the point. The point is, this is a beautiful smile:

Are we so wrapped up in the pursuit of perfection that we wish to eliminate that which makes us unique? Is there only one form that beauty takes? I see a beautiful smile, but I'm a mother and therefore my judgment is biased.

We changed orthodontists because I thought it immoral for them to play on the insecurities of a young girl, to pressure her vanity and create friction with her practical mother. Should we have spent thousands of dollars on her teeth? Were we being unduly frugal and sacrificing our daughter's sense of self? I hope she and I can have a healthy conversation about it....someday.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think so. (I think that answers all your questions.) :-)