If anything, history is about dealing with the problems and conditions at that time. However grateful we are for our air-conditioned, sanitized lives and physical improvements, we are still a long way off from reclaiming the Garden of Eden and the long life promised if we behaved ourselves. The “wars and rumors of wars” continue unabated and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse still gallop across modern geography bringing their historic plagues upon us. Apparently, the “Blessings and Curses” are the normal and life stays unfair to many. So, is there a new normal possibility that is optimistic and encouraging rather than the fatalism that things won’t get any better? Have the religions of the world gotten any better over the centuries? Have world leaders and governments gotten any better since Pax Romana? Has our health gotten any better since the hunter/gatherer foragers searched for food?
With the knowledge that others have crammed into my head concerning the mouth, I can testify that my profession, Dentistry, specifically Orthodontics has improved significantly over my lifetime. In fact, there is a new normal All four of my grandparents had “false teeth”, dentures by age 60 and none lived to see four score years. We have a new subset of Centennials with a full natural dentition. Hope you see the connection: healthy mouth = long life. Keep bad boy mouth bacteria out of your bloodstream which transports them to your heart, lungs, liver, and brain, and guess what? – health improves dramatically. Amazing how your body will treat you depending on the choices you make.
Ironically, there is a 180-degree “anti” normal enticingly marketed with beautiful people enjoying life’s pleasures, smiling with full mouth titanium implants supporting glistening white CAD/CAM zirconia crowns; the “new normal” for artificial teeth. Yes, pricey, but marvelous technology and technique, however, the untold story is the comparison of natural teeth vs the best implant restoration. We have advanced in both directions forward and backward with differing new normals.
Orthodontic treatment will never make you live longer or give you better health unless you really buy into oral health, nutrition and improving your sleep, which we stress above all else. Orthodontics enhances facial esthetics which most people desire and why not? My real concern is the negative intrusion from the commercialization and commoditization to cheapen and disregard the individual, characteristics of each face and the long-term relationship with experienced specialists to ensure long-term enhancement. A new normal that lowers any standard, especially proper diagnostic protocol and long-term follow up is advancing backward into harm’s way.
Gender confusion, vulgar bullying on social media, indecent entertainment, trashing our American Constitutional and National Anthem as well as school shootings are harmful deviations and regrettable pendulum swings that beg for diagnosing most of today’s malignancy as a spiritual problem. We have mental messes because God’s guidance has been intentionally removed from homes, schools, universities, and government. Kids that should be happy and well-adjusted suffer from anxiety depression and suicidal thoughts. “As a man thinketh, so is he”! (Prov.23:7)
The most beautiful outward smiles come from an inward smiling soul; even if teeth aren’t natural or perfectly straight. A worthy new normal!
John B. Harrison DDS,MSc