Seems strange to me that so many of us here are afraid to tell friends and coworkers and sometimes even certain family members that we are wearing dentures. We seem to think we will be judged poorly because of a medical decision. I doubt there are many of us here who simple woke up one day and decided to go get out teeth pulled out and replaced with plastic out of sheer vanity. Yet we can turn on our TV sets every day and watch "reality" STARS who are far more plastic than any of us because their vanity sent them running to the Dr seeking "enhancements" that had nothing to do with their health like our teeth did. Nobody would dare tell them that they should have taken better care of the boobs they were born with, or how about age gracefully and stop with the face lifts every year? But we have a needed medical procedure and we are afraid to let people know because we don't want to be judged? I personally resent the "Shame Factor" society seems to have put on denture wearers.
I resent it too Cheri. I lost over half my hair a good 15 years ago, and have worn wigs or hair pieces since then. I lost it due to taking depo provera for too long of a period of time, in my case 1.5 years without a 3-month break. It just reacted differently in my system than it does to most other people. Turns out I fit into the 5% who experienced hair loss category that is on the label. I learned about people judging what they do not understand a long time ago. It also made me much kinder to others who I see throughout my life who have something "wrong" - society's words, not mine, with them. I would have been lost without my online support group of wig wearing gals, so I knew that I would find the same kind of forum for support when I learned I would lose my natural teeth and have to "upgrade." It really is unfortunate to feel so stigmatized (is that a word?). I've noticed though, the last several years that celebrities are making it much easier for me in the wig/hairpiece department as they have adopted what I need every day, and the public does not see the issue in the negative light it used to. It's sad that it took the public this long to find acceptance with supplemental hair/wigs, so one can hope that many other types of prosthetic devices that a person may defer to in their lifetime, will be received in a better light someday, and that includes dentures.
It's one of those things we have been conditioned to believe is exclusive to bad oral hygiene and/or really "old" teeth, meaning it only happens to old people. Again - it's all about how things are marketed, and all the marketing I see relative to denture products or denture devices always show old people. Kristie (aka Kalinjax) is one person who is making a really big difference in this area. I can't even express how proud I am of her for sharing her story and talking about this in a world-wide forum, You Tube. To me, Kristi is breaking new ground, and I wish others would do the same. Without exposure, society's view will remain the same. I'm 51, so I feel like I am in that "old people" category, so I don't believe my denture adventure would have near the impact that Kristi is having.
I hate the shame factor too. I share my wig adventures with anyone, I just don't care. I got to a place, about a year into having to wear wigs or toppers, it became very important to me to use that experience to help others, so I shared it ... and I shared it everywhere I could. I knew that by sharing with enough people, I would help someone down the road, and I have. It's an awesome feeling to be able to help someone else along their journey. Something I learned in a big way, was "The bigger of a deal you make of it, the bigger of a deal it becomes to others." Now, the way I mean that is ... I am very non-chalant about my wigs. I own it. If I get all paranoid, and have a "secret," say from a potential dating partner ... like "I have something to tell you, but I'm scared you won't take it well" and keep it all mysterious and such, it becomes a really big deal to the other person. I've done it both ways ... being scared to share, and putting it off, and the other way of just saying oh, by the way ... due to a medication I took a long time ago, I now have a form of alopecia so I wear wigs or hairpieces (making it not a big deal). I found that by treating my wig/hair replacement like it's just eye shadow or something, then people have more respect for me and are very accepting, than if I make it a big deal. I'm not that far along with my denture journey to feel as comfortable talking about this issue, but I hope to make it there with these as well.
It's all about education. Educating people close to you, who educate people close to them, and it snowballs. If someone is unaccepting, then they are likely not a person you would want close to you in your life anyway.
Does any of this make sense? I hope that it helps someone!
And, there you go. Tisha and I were posting at the same time, so neither of us saw what the other was writing. Just goes to show you ... you can take the power back. If you give the power of acceptance or approval to other people, that's where the shame factor will come into play. If you address it yourself with acceptance, you have the power to thwart their judgment in a positive direction and take back the power to judge negatively. Unless of course, they are a terribly superficial person, who is someone you'd likely not want in your life anyway. You cannot change how people will perceive you but you can change your thoughts about yourself, and things that happen in your life.
It just sucks that all of us have a bit of the shame factor, but there is hope that you can make a difference for the ones who come to this "fork in the road" after us!
Does the nerdy kid get picked on in school because he's a nerdy kid.......or does the nerdy kid get picked on school because he, himself, believes he is a nerdy kid?
In my honest opinion, I think it's the latter.
I have not had one critical comment about my dentures. I have been confident about them since day one. I really think people look down on others only because people feel bad about themselves, first. If you hang your head low all the time, constantly beating yourself up and feeling sorry about your circumstances, people pick up on that and FEED on it. But if you go about it in a very matter-of-fact way and feel great about yourself NO MATTER WHAT, then who can bring you down? Your confidence comes from within. You can't buy it at a store. No other person can give it from you or take it away for that matter......
So I really think that's the real issue. Once you become satisfied with yourself and put less emphasis on what people think about you, you start to carry this "thing" about you that people pick up on. Once they pick up on this "thing" about you, they don't pick on you or put you down because they know they can't really get away with it. And even if someone DID continue to make comments, you will be coming from a place that is so SURE, their rude comments and negative opinions won't affect you anyways.
Someone could say the meanest thing about my dentures and I am just so sure of myself that it would not affect me in the least.
Vanity never not on my part. No shame... and certianly not going to feel bad about doing it..Its the best I have felt in a long time. IF people have a hang up about dentures. Its their hang up. I don't have to own it.
Right now I feel really good about me and this whole process as hard as it was has been empowering.
Its funny there are other pocesses in the dental world they do and people don't make comments.. Why are detures any different? Anyone has the potential to be a denture wearer.
My dentures & smile are a gift that I am so excited about. I had one man I know tell me that *Women were more vain about their teeth than men.* I about died laughing..then asked Him *Why he got them ??When he never wears them.?* He was so shocked, he walked away. I know his wife...she said *His were made bad.*...I said *So get them remade!*
So for me Vanity not so. I wanted to be able to speak, eat , sing and smile again..I wanted my smile and life back.To me that is a need to function normally in society, which is our right as human beings to do so!!
I told everyone I knew, that I was getting or have dentures. I figured, those around me werent going to think I grew a 3rd set...lol
About wigs. In the late 60s, early 70s, wigs were the rage. Everyone wore them. I had several. I had a long human hair blond on blond (long hair) full wig. I had two short artificial hair wigs, one platinum blond, one black. I had a geni wig with a pony tail coming out of a braided cone (you would stick your own hair up inside the cone). I also had a fall..which was a partial wig on a big comb. You would use your own bangs and set this wig behind them. For dress up, people used to wear grecian curls. After having my own hair done and suffering thru combing out the knots, I would get my fall done..and just plop that on my head, with my own hair under it.
Every day, I wore a different wig...very seldom wearing my own, natural curly hair. Oh..and everyone knew they were wigs...I sure didnt change my own hair color and length, daily.
I really dont see any of this stuff as a big deal...or a big secret. I dont think people really care about someone elses hair or teeth all that much.
I've never felt ashamed of my dentures since I got them but I was ashamed of my horrible teeth prior. I had gum disease and it had nothing to do with poor oral hygiene but is hereditary in my family on my mother's side. On the contrary as I have some (but not many) natural teeth left, I refer to my teeth as "my teeth" - all of them, plastic and natural and I'm proud of them. I have rediscovered things I couldn't eat for years. Taste my food properly, chew properly and SMILE.
I agree that dentures and denture products do seem to be portrayed by elderly people which is really silly given that, for various reasons some youngsters, even children have dentures, often due to illness and some types of medication or have lost their teeth through an accident.
It's high time the companies that manufacture denture products started using a wider range of age groups to promote their products.
Anyone who says dentures are bad etc. really should take a good look at themselves. They too will probably lose their teeth for one reason or another. None of us were born perfect.
I also think that dentures look so natural nowadays where decades ago they did look false, I do believe that many people we see, including film stars etc. have dentures as not everyone would be suitable for implants.
One very famous actor who wore dentures was the late Humphrey Bogart :)