Talented Ghanaian comedian Michael Blackson closed his gap teeth and shared a video of the procedure on his Instagram page. Or did he?
In the video that he posted on Instagram, he was seated in the patient's chair with a napkin covering his chest area. Blackson was dressed in black with his gold necklace resting on the napkin during the procedure. The camera zooms in to Michael’s gap tooth smile and here’s how the conversation went:
Michael dentist: "Michael, What do you want me to do with this gap?"
Michael: "Close it!"
Michael dentist: "Close it?
Michael: "Close my gap!"
Michael dentist: "But they are not going to recognize you"
Michael: "I don’t want them to recognize me, just shut my gap up"
Michael dentist: "But it’s your signature"
Michael: "I don’t have a signature anymore, close this gap, this Brooklyn Bridge, close it!"
The video then returns after his "gap closure" procedure is completed by his cosmetic dentist:
Michael dentist: "Ready for this?" (As she hands the comedian a gold patient mirror to look at his new smile)
Michael: "Thank you!" (With a shifty eyed smile after seeing the results)
In the caption of the post, Michael wrote: "Sorry but I had no choice, thanks @lechicdentist".
Well in true comedic form, it turns out to be a prank video! His dentist only pretended to close his gap by temporarily placing a chunk of composite veneer material between his two front teeth.
The video sparked a big debate in Michael’s captions on whether or not he should keep his gap or not. Surprisingly, many fans were in favor of Blackson keeping his gap!
@liz_dastylist1 said: "Nooo leave the gap"
@blackalphatv said: "On behalf of Nana Akuffo Addo and the entire populace I say, consider yourself banished if this turns out to be true"
@ali.way239 stated: "He better not"
While other fans had fun weighing in on the joke:
@pryncenyck wrote: "Gap looks like a NHL net...gap so wide Wayne Gretzky can skate in-between it "
@k_fargo_ wrote: "Now why you let her stick a piece of pepper mint right there?"
This video sparked the same type of debate about tooth gap closures when Good Morning America host Michael Strachan pranked the world on April Fools Day in 2021 when he pretended to close his signature gap.
The perception of a gap between one's teeth varies across different cultures and societies. While some cultures embrace and consider it a unique and attractive feature, others, like in the United States, tend to view it as a flaw in a smile and often encourage its correction. These cultural differences stem from a combination of historical, social, and aesthetic factors.
In many cultures, especially in Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe, having a gap between the teeth is often seen as a natural and even appealing characteristic. For example, in certain West African countries, such as Nigeria and Cameroon, a gap between the front teeth, often referred to as a "diastema," is considered a sign of beauty and fertility. It is believed that individuals with such gaps are blessed or possess good fortune. Similarly, in some Asian cultures, a gap between the teeth is associated with luck and is considered auspicious.
Historically, cultural attitudes towards a gap in the teeth can also be traced back to influential figures and celebrities. Iconic personalities like the French actress Brigitte Bardot and the British model Kate Moss are renowned for their unique and alluring smiles, which prominently feature a gap between their teeth. These influential figures have played a significant role in shaping cultural perceptions, making a gap between the teeth more accepted and even desirable in certain societies.
On the other hand, in the United States and many Western cultures, orthodontic practices and societal beauty standards have contributed to the perception that a gap in the teeth is a flaw that should be fixed. The American cultural ideal of a "perfect" smile often emphasizes straight, aligned teeth. Orthodontic procedures like braces and dental veneers have become popular methods for correcting dental irregularities, including closing gaps between teeth.
These cultural differences are also influenced by the media and popular culture. In the United States, for example, the portrayal of celebrities with flawless, uniform smiles in movies, television shows, and advertisements reinforces the idea that a gap in the teeth is undesirable. This constant exposure to a particular aesthetic ideal shapes societal norms and can create pressure for individuals to conform to these standards of beauty.
It is important to note that beauty standards and cultural perceptions are subjective and can change over time. With increasing cultural diversity and the influence of globalization, attitudes towards dental aesthetics are gradually evolving. People are beginning to appreciate and embrace a wider range of natural smiles, including those with a gap between the teeth.
I spent most of my youth hiding behind my smile, because I was embarrassed about my teeth! When I was growing up, I hated my teeth because they were too long, they stuck out, and there were multiple spaces between my teeth. Everyday in the schoolyard I'd hear "There's bugs bunny"! The other kids thought that it was funny, but it was no laughing matter to me. When I look back at those times, the name calling and feeling like an outcast really hurt my feelings. I was ridiculed to the point where I just kept to myself and avoided the other kids at all costs.
Although I wanted to improve my smile, I knew, or assumed, that my single parent mother wouldn't be able to afford to help me get the braces that I desperately wanted.... so I never asked. I was a great pretender. I smiled through pain and pretended I was a happy kid, but deep down I felt so lonely which held me back from fully enjoying my childhood. I thought that this was just the way life would always be forever.
When I reached high school, you know that pivotal time when you want to belong, I reached my breaking point! For once in my life I really wanted to fit in and maybe be one of the cool kids. And this is when my life's journey and purpose began. At the age of 15 years old what I thought was supposed to be a simple routine dental check up and teeth cleaning visit turned into my mother surprising me with the braces that I needed to finally correct my smile! This dental visit changed my life forever.
Later my gap reopened because like many of you guys out there that wore braces, I didn’t wear my retainer consistently. I debated for many years if I should keep my signature gap or close it again. In 2021, I took the leap and decided to close it with the same procedure that I have been famously providing to my celebrity and non-celebrity patients for over 20 years...porcelain veneers! I chose veneers because I wanted quick results and permanent straighter teeth without braces. For me, this was the best decision ever...I have no regrets!
In conclusion, ultimately it’s important to respect and celebrate the diversity of dental aesthetics, acknowledging that beauty comes in various forms, including smiles with or without a gap.