(11/10) It's easy for your teeth to get in your head, and not just because they're literally in your head. Mass media is still a powerful influencer for most Americans, even if they don't intend for it to be. The messages movies, TV, and commercials send out is a powerful one. All those ads for whitening toothpastes can make you feel like
you're worthless somehow if you don't have a blindingly white smile. Advertising has always used the "Something must be wrong with you" strategy to sell stuff, and teeth are no exception. The pressure can be even worse if you don't have perfectly straight teeth, because it seems like just about everyone on TV does.
Endlessly comparing yourself to actors who literally get paid to look a certain way isn't going to be very helpful in either the long-term or the short-term. If you're feeling insecure about your teeth, it's OK to say so. You may acknowledge that the media portrayals are unrealistic even as you wish your own teeth was a little better or
straighter or cleaner somehow. As politicians are fond of saying, don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Braces for adults
It's easy to think of braces as something that's 'just for kids,' like Trix cereal and cartoons with talking animals. But there are plenty of reasons for people to get braces as adults. Maybe they had a slight overbite or underbite that didn't bother them when they were child, but it bothers them now that they're a bit older. Perhaps their
family couldn't afford the price of braces. But either way, getting braces as an adult is nothing to be ashamed of. You're trying to improve both your health and your appearance, since things like overbites and underbites can cause other health issues if left unattended. Traditional braces are certainly an option for adults, but so are less obvious treatments like
Invisalign. Make an appointment with an orthodontist to discuss your available options.
The world of periodontics
The term "periodontology" is quite a mouthful. A periodontist is considered a specialist in the field of dentistry. If you need a dental implant, you'll be going to a periodontist to get it. They're also skilled in things like scaling (the removal of tartar from teeth) and root planing, which focuses on removing tartar that's lodged itself below the gumline. If you've lost a tooth for whatever reason, periodontists generally consider dental implants to be the best choice for replacing it. That's because dental implants are basically artificial tooth roots that attach to your jawline. They're generally more comfortable than things like
dentures, and they also make it easier to chew your food. While fixed bridges can do a lot of harm to your adjacent teeth, dental implants won't do that. They're the next-best thing to never losing your tooth to begin with. They're expensive, which is a big downside for a lot of people. You may want to get a partial denture to tide you over until you're in a
better financial position.
Some people decide to just never fill the gap in their mouth, but that's not a good idea. A hole in your mouth means your other teeth may shift to try and fill it, which can cause other problems. It's best to deal with the gap as soon as is feasible.