Imperfect Teeth Are a Trend: The Best News Ever for Parents!


Shout out to all the former tin grins, brace faces, and metal mouths who suffered through the little plastic rubber bands, the hard-to-keep-track-of retainers, and the convoluted headgear (yikes!) to achieve Hollywood glam smiles.

If you had it to do all over again, would you still subject yourself to the standing monthly visits with the orthodontist? And even worse, the two or three days after the fact that you could only eat soft foods and sip on soup because your mouth was so battered and sore?

Now that that’s all said and done, do you get regular compliments on that perfect bite you sacrificed so long and hard to achieve while your friends were chewing on Now or Laters and gum and snacking on popcorn and pretzels? (Not that you liked them, but you just wanted the option to eat them if you should so choose.)

I didn’t think so. 


Yesterday, The Girl and I had appointments with a new dentist, and as they all typically do, she tried to sell me on getting some orthodontic work. “You want to close the spaces between your teeth?” she asked through the white face mask. My mouth was too full of apparatuses and fluoride to say anything, but I shook my head from side to side in a vehement ‘no.’

“You sure?” she confirmed, clearly thinking I have to be nuts to voluntarily walk around with such a mangled, Swiss cheese grin. I pushed the suction thingy to the side with my tongue to explain. “I’ve had braces twice and jaw surgery once. I’m not doing anything else to this mouth but cleaning it.” She seemed surprised, but nodded her forfeiture and didn’t say beans again until it was time to leave.

When I got to the lobby, I learned that Miss Skylar got similar treatment. She goes back and forth between wanting braces and not wanting to be bothered, but today I saw a little nugget of information that makes a strong selling point against getting all wired up: flawed teeth are actually hip to have. Apparently women in Japan are actually paying to make their straight teeth ... crooked. (Pause here to process that thought.) Ah, the foolish things that happen when folks have too much money at their disposal and not enough sense to know what to do with it. 

I always thought non-perfect teeth were cute. I adored Nas’ chipped tooth before he got it fixed and I think Jewel’s crooked teeth make her all the more adorable. My daughter’s smile, to a dental professional’s trained eye, may seem like a cash cow for all that could be altered, but it gives her face character. I’ll get her braces if she really wants them, but if not, I’d never force them on her. So long as she takes care of her teeth to the point where they stay in her mouth where they belong, I’ve got no problem with leaving her cutie pie grin just like it is.

Were you forced to get braces when you were a kid? Did you make your child get them, too?

Image via Kristinajl/Flickr

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