Dear Dentist,

What on earth are you thinking (besides your bottom line) when you tell my healthy, happy 15 year old you can "fix" her teeth with veneers?

That she will look "much better"?

This child, whom I have nurtured for 15 years, whom I tell daily she is beautiful, unique, intelligent and talented. I tell her endlessly that superficial traits like perfect teeth are not what makes us good women.

I have taught this child to value kindness, hard work, courage, flexibility and friendships over body image. And, yet in this short moment your marketing ploy works. My usually confident, well-groomed, pretty, active child believes you.

She now tells me she's always hated those teeth. And believes she is mature enough to make choices regarding her body. She is cross with me because I will block this.

My daughter does NOT need fixing. She is perfect.

She does not have a cavity. Her teeth are fine. We pop in today for a check up and you try and sell her a cosmetic procedure?

She is 15. We all things we don't like about our body. And part of growing up is learning to love and accept yourself. Not "fixing" things. 

Let's get this straight. My daughter does not have a huge defect in her mouth. She has 2 teeth which apparently are a "bit too pointy" (not sure who sets the pointy-ness scale for teeth or how it's measured!) and they seem a "bit funny". And you suggest to this child without ANY mention from her or her parents that these teeth cause grief that she have veneers placed over them to make them look "better".

Let's look at veneer as a definition: "to face or cover an object with any material that is more desirable". What could be more desirable than her own TEETH? They are cavity free.  And they look great when she smiles.

How on earth can we build confident, resilient kids who love their bodies when you offer to "fix" them?!

She is 15. She is not an adult.

What is this message sending girls?

"Fixing" my daughters teeth will not make her happy. Happiness comes from purpose, from being a good person, having great friends, helping others. Happiness comes from within. When you accept yourself. Pointy teeth and all.

She is the most beautiful child. She is witty, funny, she gets great grades. She is confident. She plays footy, soccer, she goes to speech and drama class, she wrestles in the mud with her brothers. She is a great friend. She is polite and she is fun. She works hard. 

And you want to "fix" her.

No 15 year old loves her body. It takes time. And being 15 is hard.

Please consider the impact you have on a child's mental health and self-esteem before you offer this again.

The media does enough damage.

It would shake me.

What is perfect? We don't need fixing.

Published by Kristy Hunt