I think it’s human nature for most people to have unrealistically high opinions of themselves, most everyone claims tat they are not prejudice, that they do not form an opinion of another person based on income, material possessions, race, religion, and especially not on looks. Truth be known, everyone at some point in time judges another, it’s just life and I doubt that some people can help themselves.
Recently I noticed a peculiar, disturbing fact while working at a friends small shop that is located in a small town in PA. Some drive cars that look as if they will fall into a heap when they open the drivers door, some have loose windows held in place with duct tape and still others have cardboard where the windows should be but guess what? No one judges the driver of the car! There are those that come into the store wearing the same pajamas they wore all week, some carry sandwich bags filled with unrolled change, and though there’s no nice way of saying it, there is the occasional one that never showers and believe it or not, still no one is judged. The community I refer to is a relatively poor one and most of the locals there are fairly tight knit, however, there is one exception that I have seen that is always judged, and in every community I have seen too.
Regardless of what a person drives, no matter how well dressed, no matter how intelligent or beautiful they may be, if they open their mouth and are missing teeth or have visibly bad teeth, they are almost always judged. I witnessed a woman enter a business and she was stunning, though not wearing a suit she was very clean and neatly dressed. Employees were nice to her until she opened her mouth to speak, she was missing a few teeth and was painfully conscious of it. As soon as the woman left, the talk began, though the curled lips were immediate, what a skag the woman must have been, wasn’t it something that such an attractive woman would be seen walking around like that. A fellow shopper knew the womans story though and told the others that she lived alone, had no living relatives and had lost her home because she was left without much financially when her husband died. It was also revealed that she didn’t talk a lot in public because she was so embarrassed of her teeth! Bottom line, the woman didn’t want to be without all of her teeth, she had no choice because she couldn’t afford to get them fixed.
A person can change their clothing, their residence, the car they drive maybe but they cannot get dental help if they cant afford it, so they can’t change their teeth! I began to pay better attention to such cases and I was deeply disturbed by what I saw each and every time, no matter who it was with bad teeth, they were called names and it was automatically assumed that they were real low lives, Hillbillies, or scumbags because of their teeth. I talked to a couple of them and was disgusted to find that not one of them didn’t care, all were ashamed, not one would eat out because of their shame, each had serious health issues because of their dental state and none could get a loan to get them fixed!
Society worries about health care for children, seniors, and in general, but rarely have I seen a whole lot of coverage for dental work, in fact, I have never seen adequate dental coverage, if at all. I have also seen only one dentist in my life that does free dental work one day of the year and there are so very many lined up before he opens that over half are not even seen. Needless to say, that dentist is an anomaly, like many professions that bring high pay they simply want the money and do not care about the patient.
A final point, a woman that I’ve known for many years who has severe dental issues and cannot get a loan for the extensive dental work she needs, several years ago woke with her entire head and neck swollen. She was in agony from pain and I took her to a dentist to be seen right away, he charged her $80.00 for the visit and told me to get her to the emergency room immediately or she would die within 48 hours! After her being in the ER all night with rounds of IV antibiotics and shots to ease her pain, they told me to get her to an oral surgeon right away. I then took her to an oral surgeon who confirmed that she’d die without all of her bottom teeth being removed, which would leave her unable to chew without dentures. When she stated that she couldn’t afford the seventeen hundred dollars but could make payments, he told her to get a loan and call him when it was approved! Of course she’d tried getting loans for years prior and was denied. Luckily, after being hospitalized the infection was cleared up, in spite of it having traveled just about to her heart and brain but still today, she has not been able to get help with fixing the issues! She was told that it was only a matter of time and that next time it’ll be worse.
Perhaps someday in the near future, we’ll see some kind of help for people like those with bad teeth, I’m sure not one wants to go around without teeth to chew with, without smiling or talking because of their shame. Might want to remember that if you should see someone like that out there because who knows, unless you’re rich, it could be you.