I went to the Dentist today (no, that is not my mouth above!) Normally this is an appointment of dread, but I have to admit I really like my dentist. He is a handsome New Yorker in his early 50's, tall, with George Clooney hair and a healthy laissez faire attitude when it comes to work versus play. He has a dental nurse who has the most magical hands. She rubs numbing gel onto my gums and no matter how long since I last flossed, the cleaning process is almost pain free. And her finale is a lovely cold spray of bicarb soda to make sure my ivories are sparkling white and super smooth.
All this made me realize how obsessed New Yorkers are with teeth. Almost to the point of derision. My insurance company actually gives me a hefty discount if I visit the dentist twice a year. Every second ad on TV and in magazines is for Crest whitening strips.
And every other ad is for invisalign braces.
In most neighborhoods there is a teeth whitening salon.
And even Anna Wintour commented on how bad Sienna Miller's teeth were when she was choosing the front cover for her famous September issue (New Yorkers are notoriously critical of english teeth).
According to the American Dental Association, in 2007, Americans spent $95.2 billion on dental care. Now I'm not good with numbers, but I am sure that is larger than some small country's economy. So now I keep thinking: are my teeth white enough and straight enough? Certainly not if I look too hard at America's perfectly perfect news presenters - and I swear they look like this on TV as well as in photos:
Courtney Friel, Fox
Laurie Dhue, Fox
Alina Cho, CNN
Kiran Chetry, CNN
Katie Couric, CBS
I guess if I had the time I could always use the crest strips, sleep wtih Invisalign and schedule regular appointments at 'Brite Smile' (in betwen the manicures, hair, waxing and whatever else New York women do to stay looking perfect). Or I could just enjoy my grey-haired dentist twice a year and hope that the bicarb soda in Colgate keeps the dreaded yellow at bay. At a minimum I might look like a real person.
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