Perfectionism, Bulimia Recovery, and Tooth Repair
Perfectionism is a major contributor to bulimia. Women who feel they have to be perfect in every way fight to achieve and maintain an unrealistic body weight, which is what contributes to the purging behavior. An important part of recovery is letting go of perfectionist standards and learning to accept yourself as you are.
It’s about Healing
One of the most important aspects of smile repair is that it is not about giving you a “perfect” smile, it’s about repairing bulimia damage to teeth.
A healthy smile is like a healthy body: it’s a legitimate goal that everyone can achieve and should aspire to. Although a healthy smile is also an attractive smile, we’re not aspiring to an unrealistic standard, but something that is natural and appropriate.
Are You Ready for Smile Repair?
However, us saying that smile repair is part of recovery and not part of the problem isn’t what matters. What matters is how you view it. If you find that talking or thinking about smile repair starts leading you into thought patterns that threaten your recovery, then you may not be ready yet.
The timing of smile repair isn’t something you can necessarily decide on your own. If you’re talking to a counselor or support group, work through the decision with them to make sure you’re ready to get smile repair as part of healing and not the beginning of a new campaign of unrealistic aspirations.
Medical Concerns Might Determine Timing
The only exception to the above is that sometimes the damage to your teeth might be such that we have to work fast on some procedures. For example, if you have an infected tooth, a root canal is necessary to prevent the spread of infection or the loss of the tooth. In other cases, erosion of tooth enamel may have weakened teeth so that they need to be repaired before they crack.
These health-related interventions can be undertaken separately from your overall smile makeover, if necessary.