The importance of finding support
There were many things which held me back from seeking treatment sooner. One of the things which really stands out, however, was my looming fear of how people would perceive me if I were to become a denture wearer. At the time, I was a 26 year old newlywed and mother of two young children. As loving and supportive as my husband was in all other areas of my life, I often worried about what he might think of me if he knew I had to lose all of my teeth. Would it be too much for him to handle? Wouldn’t life be easier for him if he could be with someone who didn’t have so many “problems”? And what about everyone else? Would my family pity me? Would they be ashamed of me? What about the rest of the world? If they knew I had to get dentures, would they think less of me? Laugh? Mock? These thoughts consumed me to the point that I could not take action. It felt as if I were alone, staring at a monster that I didn’t have the skill to defeat. The only thing I could do was cower away from it and hope it disappeared.
Unfortunately, this is a reality for many people. Please don’t ever feel like you are alone in this. Even the bravest of the brave can be very apprehensive about reaching out and finding support through their journey to dentures. In my own journey, I think that was one of the biggest hurdles I had to jump. When you read my blog or watch my videos, it may seem like I had no problem sharing such a personal part of my life with the world but that is not the case. I was just as nervous and scared as many of you may be. But now that I am on the other side of this, I can look back and see that finding the proper support was paramount in me achieving the success I have had thus far.
Here are some ways you can find support and encouragement to help push you through your own journey!
Online forums and communities for denture wearers
The first place I turned to for support was not my husband or closest friends and family. I was still being very stealthy about the whole thing and am known for being a chronic Googler. I stumbled upon a website which ended up being the pivotal moment in my decision to go through with getting dentures. Dentures a New Smile is an online community for denture wearers and others who are faced with losing their teeth. As I scrolled through the photos section of this community, I saw tons of people of varying ages and ethnicities, male and female, and I never would have guessed that they, too, either were denture wearers or were bound for becoming denture wearers. This really opened my eyes to what it means to wear dentures. Prior to this, I felt so isolated and alone. Now I was able to see that this isn’t just something that I had to go through. Many people have gone through this and achieved amazing results. I scrolled through the forum and read countless stories which really resonated with me. These people were able to share intimate details of their struggles with their teeth; something even I wasn’t able to do at that point. It felt so liberating when I was finally able to open up about all of the challenges I had been faced with— things I had always been too afraid to share with others. Not only was it a huge weight off of my shoulders, it felt good to be able to share it with people who understood and could give me actual feedback and advice based on their own experiences.
I highly recommend joining and online community or forum. Mind you, strangers online cannot give you professional advice but they can share their experiences and give you an idea as to what this whole process looks like, as well as various challenges they have encountered so you can better prepare.
Here are a few links to some online resources:
There are also many denture related groups on Facebook. Just type “dentures” in the search box, then select the “groups” tab.
Since starting my channel back in 2010, many other YouTubers have popped up, sharing their personal journeys with dentures. There are hundreds of hours of videos from real people of various backgrounds, all at different stages of the process, which can help give you an idea as to what the personal side of being a denture wearer is like. The comments section of these videos have become a great place to engage in discussion and share experiences with others who are seeking help and support.
Friends and family
After getting the confidence to discuss all of this with my husband and immediate circle of friends and family, they provided the most support and encouragement for me during my transition. They were the ones who were there to listen to me vent about my fears and concerns. They saw me through all of my pain, triumphs, challenges, all of it. I will never forget the morning of getting my extractions. My husband, who was getting ready to leave for work, gave me a big hug and kiss and said, “You have nothing to worry about. You’ve got this, you’ll do great. I love you.” Just knowing that my husband thought no different of me and loved me, teeth or no teeth, was huge encouragement to me. My sister drove me to my appointment and sat in the waiting room through the whole procedure. She drove me home, gave me my pain meds when I was too out of it. My parents came by and helped my husband with the kids. All of them took turns bringing me ice packs and soup, making sure I was okay. None of them thought any different of me. They were proud of my decision to take action. Though we never really discussed it, deep down, they knew the toll that my teeth had taken on me; on my appearance, my health, my mental and physical wellbeing. They knew that this was the one big thing that was holding me back in life and they were there through every step of the way to a better life for myself. Don’t be ashamed at reaching out to those who love you the most. In the end, they just want you to be healthy and happy.
I didn’t just lose my teeth; I lost many of the fears and feelings of isolation which had haunted me for so long. I lost the idea that everyone else is perfect and I was broken. I gained a new, beautiful smile, as well as a kind of confidence and feeling of empowerment that I never had before, with the help and support of friends, family, and strangers online.
Share your tips!
Where did you find your biggest support in your transition? Share your experiences in the comments, below!