Appearance is everything. In job interviews, casual meetings, and even within your own reflection. Along with appearance comes your smile. It’s meant to show your joy and happiness, as well as providing a warm greeting to strangers and friends. It is the difference between being approached or avoided.

So what if you don’t have the perfect smile? What if your teeth are grayed or crooked? Does that make your joy any less palpable to others? Does it leave the impression that you can’t be approached in a friendly conversation?

Take Jon Torsch. A Twitter user that stepped out of his comfort zone to talk about how it felt to have crooked teeth. He posted a smiling picture of his face, showing what he looked like before Invisalign and then after.

The reason? To show how his bad teeth caused severe depression, effecting his mental well-being.

This may be vain to some, but really his experience sparked something deeper. He explains that he recently shelled out $4,000 for Invisalign (after insurance). He was forced to wait until adulthood to fix his teeth because growing up poor did not allow him the luxury. It’s a shame that insurance companies view perfect teeth as “cosmetic”, which means they rarely—if at all—cover such a procedure.

What prompted the photo?

Torch explains that he’d sifted through photos of very joyous and memorable moments in his life, only to find he wasn’t openly smiling. He trained himself early on to mask his teeth and only smile with his lips. That’s sad because he is a handsome person.

This shame had been carried with him for a long time…

After fixing up his long-term embarrassment, he never expected to feel whole again and happy.

And he sums it up perfectly here:

After reading his thoughtful thread, other Twitter folks shared their thoughts.

And Jon responded…

So maybe good dental health can go beyond the wellness of the body. It can cure the emotional stressors of mental health.