Why I believe in Cosmetic Dentistry

February 11, 2015

My Smile Story by Dr Andrea Ubhi

Well let you tell you a little of my story. This is personal, so go easy on me, ok?

My teeth used to be geeky. Gummy and geeky. I was really embarrassed by my smile, so every time I laughed, I would put my hand over my mouth. I was once at a wedding taking a photo of the big wedding party behind the official photographer. When he shouted, “Say cheese!”, 50% of the group beamed broadly and the other 50% clamped their lips together. I checked a load of the teeth out secretly later, as an-OCD-never-stop-checking-teeth-out-dentist-would, and yes, they didn’t have the greatest teeth, so fair play. Well anyway, I also belonged in that group. The Lip Clampers.

Now there are two problems with being a Lip Clamper in my opinion. One is confidence. If every time you are about to smile, you feel you must stop yourself and duck for cover, well there is a confidence issue right there. It’s hard enough relating freely with the world and expressing who you are without having the added stress of remembering to clamp. Are you going to feel the same as the smiling person with the gorgeous teeth who openly talks, smiles and laughs? In my experience, no. I used to feel awkward and like the ugly duckling.

Now I know that beauty is from within. Have you ever met a staggeringly beautiful person, who when you got to know them had, mmm let’s say, a very difficult character?  As soon as the character comes out, then the beauty just evaporates. Yes I totally agree that beauty is from within, but the problem is, how beautiful will we appear if the ‘within’ part of us isn’t feeling that attractive?

Well the second problem with being a Lip Clamper is this: how you are perceived. If every time someone communicates with us, we just clam up, put our hand over our mouths and act embarrassed, well that is going to start affecting their perception of us. They will think we are uncomfortable around them, when actually that’s not the truth. The truth is that we are uncomfortable around our own smile. People tend to communicate through mirroring. If I smile, chances are you will smile back. If I am serious, chances are you will be more serious. If I act uncomfortable around you, well you aren’t going to want to be around me too much as you won’t want to feel uncomfortable yourself.

Well quite a few years ago I got my smile “fixed”, as I came to think of it. I was no longer gummy and I had the most beautiful smile that I was proud of. I could laugh openly and never have to cover it again, well unless I ‘ve been eating those darn poppy seeds and forgotten my floss. The truth is that people related to me differently, or was it my perception of it? Was it my confidence that drew them in, or the wide smile on my face? If the world smiles back at you all day long, then that is a happier day than if the world is looking uncomfortable and embarrassed around you.

What kind of Cosmetic Dentist would I be if I did not know what my patients are feeling when they walk in for a consultation to discuss their embarrassment and worries? Mmm a cocky one, maybe. How would I know what they are feeling when they leave after cosmetic treatment in floods of tears….of happiness let me add quickly. (Thankfully, most of our patients are terribly English and prefer to write polite thank you notes instead of the tears thing.)

Well let me say once and for all that I am a 100% total, complete believer in Cosmetic Dentistry, it changed my life.