No 1 son came home from school last week with the dreaded school photographs. I say dreaded because he suffers from a condition called Enamel hyperplasia meaning he has a lack of Enamel on his teeth, and had to have 8 teeth removed several years ago. The resulting re-growth gave him gappy, discoloured teeth. He never smiles in photographs and as a result he hates his school pictures. We then have to endure tears and tantrums about how his teeth look and his life is ruined!
He has a rigorous dental routine and regular check ups but unlike braces which are offered for overcrowding of teeth on the national health, we were offered no support or solution unless we paid a vast amount of money, way beyond our means to get all his teeth capped ! We were even unable to get his teeth whitened until he is 18.
As a result although being a lovely looking lad (well I would say that wouldn’t I) He is hugely self conscious and will not smile with an open mouth. He covers his mouth all the time with his hand and bows his head when talking to people he has never met before.
With hindsight I wish I had taken out dental insurance along with our home and health insurance. We may then have been able to do something for him and the rest of the family, helping us with covering costs. Especially as it now appears one of the twins may have similar problems. He has already suffered from teasing in the playground due to a black front tooth caused, the dentist says by a trauma to his mouth but again, which nothing can be done about. We are hoping that when he looses his milk teeth this one will grow back healthy.
In a society which is increasingly obsessed with looks, perhaps it’s a small price to pay?