I'm often asked by patients if getting their teeth fixed is "vain" -- even when their teeth present serious health issues and/or it's uncomfortable for them to eat.
Having your teeth whitened or straightened, replacing missing teeth with dental implants or bridges, and restoring health to teeth and the oral cavity is not "vain."
As I state in both my e-books, "Healthy Mouth, Healthy Sex!" and "Keep Your Body Healthy . . . Brush Your Teeth!" your mouth is an important part of your body. Just as you need to exercise to keep your heart healthy, relieve stress, and maintain optimal weight, you need to care for your mouth through regular checkups and having dental work done when necessary.
Maintaining a healthy smile also pays dividends. You feel free to smile more, which makes the people around you feel good, and you don't hide your teeth behind "closed mouth smiles" (or close your eyes when you smile, the way one of my patients did).
This is why I loved reading Nancy Lombardo's story. A comedian, Nancy understands how image is an important part of her job -- and part of that image is flashing a beautiful smile.
"I love my dentist Dr. Reginald Moncrieff in New York. It's not often you meet professionals who take pride in their work and skills and concern in their patients. I am an actress and stand-up comedian, and Dr. Reginald understands the importance of my teeth in order to earn income.
"He has never performed unnecessary work and actually discourages it. On more than one occasion, he has come to my aid on his own time. One time he fixed a broken tooth so that I could perform.
"I have sent many of my friends to him and they all agree: he is the best. He is one dentist that goes the extra mile for a smile."