A little patient of my own (see photograph) was told by her dentist that her upper front teeth would have to be extracted, as they protruded so that she could not close her mouth. On hearing this, I was simply horrified. I induced the parents to consult a competent orthodontist, with the result that on meeting the child on the street about three months afterwards (see photograph), I didn't recognize her. Here are two pictures of a dentist's son "before and after taking" a course of treatment. His father regulated his teeth.
In orthodontia an inconceivably great advance has been made in preserving human beauty, health and efficiency. And the people who have been bewailing nature's inadequacy and asserting that our race is gradually deteriorating so that the coming man will be "edentulous" (toothless) are asked to take a back seat. They belong in the same category with the people in Philadelphia, who objected to opening some playgrounds to children, because the latter shouted when they played. Just as if play without shouting could be any good for young children; even in Philadelphia.
A great and beautiful truth has been taught us by these orthodontists. Every good man, every religious man, and every one who rejoices in beauty, in symmetry, in efficiency and in the comforting reflection that nature does not make mistakes—man makes the mistakes, and is sometimes blasphemous enough to lay the blame upon God—ought to rejoice at the clear proof that there was no mistake made in allotting thirty-two teeth to an adult human being. That the properly shaped jaw can hold all of these teeth, and that modern ideas of the fitness of things demand a full complement of teeth in a properly shaped jaw. That the firm well-rounded chin, the resolute jaw and symmetrical cheeks, and the appearance of decision, vigor and alertness so necessary for either male or female beauty of expression, belong by right to every American man and woman; not to mention the fact that the "laughing pearls" of perfect teeth can be possessed by any one, and some one has sinned, either the man or his parents, if the denture is defective and the jaws ill-developed.