No front teeth, so hard to smile — getting the drill on ED

screen-shot-2016-02-16-at-4-31-35-pm-123x150Eating disorders rob us of many precious things – including our smile. It’s hard to smile without front teeth – I know. Anorexia affected my teeth, especially my two top front teeth, as an eleven-year-old. I felt self-conscious and tried not to smile. And we need to smile, for smiling allows light and warmth into our starved and hungry soul. If only my dentist had known about eating disorders, he may have been able to help me more.

The good news is that we live in a time when dentists do want to learn about eating disorders, and they want to help us. Several years ago, I co‐presented with Prof. Susan Paxton at the 35th Australian Dental Congress in Melbourne. This provided  a great opportunity to give dentists insight into what it feels like when our eating disorder starts to ‘eat’ and destroy our teeth. Some of you, my wonderful friends in the ED world, shared your experience to help the dentists know how to help others. Our presentation was listed on the main scientific program. Our topic: Reflux and related diseases.

The wonderful staff at EDA (Eating Disorders Association Inc, Queensland) recognise, and want to raise awareness about, the importance of taking care of our teeth. They include an article of mine in their latest newsletter which focuses teeth. It is worth sinking your teeth into, and chewing on.  Share it with others, too. Here is the link:

1. Oral Care and ED, EDA newsletter Febuary 2016

About June Alexander

I have written nine books about eating disorders since my recovery (my “reconnection with true self”) from anorexia nervosa and other long term mental health challenges in 2006. In 2017, I graduated as a Doctor of Philosophy (Creative Writing). My contribution to the eating disorder field was recognised at the 2016 Academy for Eating Disorders International Conference in San Francisco where I was awarded the Meehan/Hartley Award for Public Service and Advocacy. I am currently a co-chair of the NEDC Steering Committee Evidence of Experience Group, a foundation steering committee member of the annual World Eating Disorders Action Day, and an Advisory Panel member for F.E.A.S.T.

All articles by June Alexander

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