I have always had a lot of space between my teeth, I don’t know how this happens genetically, but I my teeth are about half the size of what they should be for my jaw size. I think it is funny that when little kids have crooked or oversized teeth they are cute, but when an adult has crooked teeth or excessive spacing it affects your opinion of that person (not always in a negative way, but you definitely notice it). Up until about 4th grade, I remember my mom’s friends saying hi and getting me to laugh so that they could see an adorable little boy (if I do say so myself) show off his goofy crooked teeth. After a two-year stint with braces in high school my teeth were finally straighten out, but I was told I would need veneers if I wanted to close the space entirely. I had given up the idea of getting bonding or veneers because I knew it was thousands of dollars on an elective cosmetic procedure that was not going to be covered by insurance.
I would never say that I was impacted in a big negative way from my teeth, but I was always aware of them. I can distinctly remember choosing to smile without showing my teeth in pictures, or I would avoid smiling all together and do a “thizz face” instead. Either way, you could say that I would have done anything for a better smile.
Enter college basketball… In January of 2014, I was in the weight room with a teammate finishing up a lifting routine. The last lift of our routine was the push press. The push press is a lift where you start with a bar in front of you at about shoulder height and you jump slightly off the ground as you thrust the bar past your face and above your head.
On the last set of this workout I was already fatigued from exerting myself through the rest of the workout. Apparently, my form was just barely off — I think you can guess where this is going — as I thrusted the bar above my head I smashed the bar into my chin which in turn smashed my teeth together. after a loud crack I discovered a few fragments of teeth in my mouth. I was immediately horrified when I looked in the mirror and saw that my front two teeth had been chipped completely off.
A few hours later, I was in the chair at the dentist have my teeth repaired. Turns out that bonding on teeth that are intact is cosmetic, but bonding on teeth that are chipped is a non-elective procedure. So I ended up getting the procedure covered by insurance. Better yet, because the accident had happened while I was lifting during a practice, it was covered by the school’s insurance as well.
I don’t want to play this up to make it sound like I did a 180 and everything changed, but that is really what happened 😉 I remember feeling so excited when I looked in the mirror, and I saw a beautiful full smile. I began smiling to show off my new teeth. I really was surprised by the amount of self-confidence it gave me.
The point of all this, is that I have personally experienced what all the data points towards about people that smile.