The emotional whirlpool continues to be on its full spin cycle. Although I have soldiered on with the Manpedia preparations it has had to take a back seat to more pressing issues. Those being real life.

I guess what’s really been made apparent to me of late is the illness of dementia and how it takes the life and identity away from people. It is such a haunting illness. Now please forgive me if I offend anyone that has prolonged experience in dealing with this as I can only refer to my own personal and very limited experience and understanding.

What has really presented itself to my world is the other side of the coin and that being those that care for their family members that are suffering at the hands of this illness. We all feel useless at times, when a loved one passes away we can’t do anything and just wish we could find something that would have prevented it. But their ending is just that, an ending. There is a definitive line in the sand. There is nothing more to do but grieve then remember.

Dementia doesn’t grace us with this, certainly not at first. I have seen my partner leave her mothers side completely broken, time after time. Pouring love into her mum but in the knowing that each and every time a little more of her has fallen away. It is a situation so heartbreaking on so many levels, a situation that renders you absolutely hopeless and without the ability to do anything to alter the course of things. It is like a cruel game, a cruel test to try and break us until we give up, but love does truly conquer all in that respect. The end may already be determined and the path there a torturous and sad one but love will all always remain stronger. To my partner, to all of those that continue to care and love those that we are losing piece by piece; you are not only angels but you are the strongest and kindest people gracing us with your presence. The love you unconsciously give is immeasurable in value to those receiving it.


Should anyone wish to donate to those raising awareness and funds for dementia:



It’s not you, it’s probably your smile. But your teeth aren’t the only problem—it’s a full package. Yellowed teeth, receding gums, and chapped lips can all take your smile from megawatt to better-left-unseen.

And unless you plan to spend the rest of your life frowning, this is one area that demands a fix. Dentistry has evolved past the point where a snaggletooth was considered your lot in life. Today the color of your teeth can be selected off a chart. And no one has to settle for horse teeth anymore. (Except horses.) There are some fixes out there that we didn’t even know existed, and they’re bound to surprise you, too.

Here’s the comprehensive guide to fixing your smile. Whether you’ve got a “peg tooth,” a “gummy show,” or just want to take care of those pesky coffee stains.

Problem: Yellow or stained teeth

Fix: Whitening

What do most men want to fix about their smile? You got it: “The number one thing is whitening,” says Dr. Jennifer Jablow, a cosmetic dentist based in New York City. “I’ve done thousands and thousands of whitenings.” But, word to the wise, certain types of stains respond better to whitening than others. If your teeth are yellowed due to smoking, or drinking coffee or wine, you’re likely to see results. For everything else, skip to the next section. For a full rundown of the types of whitening a dentist can offer, read this. Or you can try whitening strips at home. But they might miss some areas. “Your mouth is not a perfect rectangle,” Jablow says, “so whitening strips are never going to conform to the way your teeth are shaped.”

Problem: Gray teeth

Fix: Crowns or veneers

Some teeth just don’t respond to chemical whitening, even when it’s done by a dentist. “There can be intrinsic stains deep within the teeth,” Jablow says. “They’re usually grayish, blueish, or the tooth is translucent because the enamel is worn down. Those will not respond to whitening.” The fix here might be a crown or veneer. These are thin coverings, often made of porcelain—a crown wraps the whole front and back of the tooth, while a veneer covers the front and about a third of the back. Yes, they’re an investment. They can run you $2,000 per tooth, so it’s important to like what you’re buying. “You need someone very experienced to do these because you can end up with very opaque, chunky looking or weirdly contoured teeth,” Jablow says. “You should ask to see work the dentist has done before. Once you do veneers, you’re married to them.”

Problem: High lip line

Fix: Botox

Ever heard someone’s smile described as “gummy?” There’s actually a medical name for that: the “gummy show.” “This means when you smile, you have a high lip line,” Jablow says. “Your lip lifts up a lot so there’s a disproportionate show of gum tissue versus actual teeth.” A potential fix for this one doesn’t actually have to do with the gums. It might involve a unit or two of Botox on each side of your upper lip. Of course, you should talk to your doctor or dentist if you’re considering this. “You inject Botox into the muscle that’s involved in the elevation of the upper lip,” says Dr. Brendan Camp, a board-certified dermatologist based in northern Virginia. “You’re not paralyzing it, which would affect the ability to chew and talk, but it’s no longer elevated as much.”

Problem: Stubby teeth

Fix: Crown lengthening surgery

Your gummy smile could be the result of unusually short or stubby teeth. Your dentist might be able to laser the gum tissue to lift the gum line, which makes teeth look longer. But here’s the thing about gums: where they end is dictated by your underlying bone structure. “If there’s an excess amount of bone under there, then you have to get a crown lengthening surgery,” Jablow says, “in which they remove some of the gum tissue but also the bone underneath.” Painful? Well, it doesn’t sound pleasant. (Plus, it can cost around $1,500 depending on your mouth and the area where you live.) Recovery can be relatively easy, with a day or two of downtime.

Problem: Chapped lips

Fix: Exfoliating

Dry, cracked, chapped lips will quickly undo the benefits of your expensive dental work. They’re easy enough to fix, but slathering on lip balm doesn’t address the core problem. You need to get rid of that dead buildup before you moisturize. The best way to exfoliate? Try sugar. New York City-based makeup artist Gissela Gorman gave us her directions for making a simple sugar scrub here, and here are some of our go-to lip balms and chapsticks for everyday use.

Problem: Big teeth

Fix: Gum grafting

Then there are teeth you might have heard called “horse teeth.” Key point: It’s unlikely your teeth are oversized. But your receding gums might make them look that way. “What you’re seeing is actually an excess show of tooth in proportion to gums,” Jablow says,” and if there’s root exposure, your teeth could be vulnerable to decay, and sensitive to hot and cold.” Unfortunately, putting gums back is a little trickier than lasering them away. It involves tissue grafting that typically ranges in cost from $3,500 to $5,000.

Problem: Buck teeth

Fix: Clear braces

Buck teeth are upper front teeth that are too far forward. And the fix is the same as for any otherwise-fine tooth that steps out of line: braces. Fortunately for adults, there are clear braces, like Invisalign. And there are new ways to make them work faster. “In my office we offer an accelerated program where you actually change aligners every week as opposed to every two,” Jablow says. The clear aligners can be removed while you eat and drink—another advantage over traditional braces. They’re custom tailored to your bite, which is why Jablow cautions against competing direct mail aligners that you can buy without an office visit. Costs are high—they can range up to $10,000. In this case, however, you may have benefits covered depending on your insurance plan.

Problem: Snaggletooth

Fix: Varies

What do we mean when we say “snaggletooth?” That’s probably something your dentist will ask. A tooth could just be crooked. Or it could be both out of place and undersized. Invisalign comes into play here, but you can’t jam all your teeth into a neat row if one is significantly different from the others. “If a tooth is oddly shaped, that’s what we call a peg tooth,” Jablow says. “They’re sometimes passed on every other generation.” The fix here is often a crown or veneer to make the tooth more like its neighbors, then something similar to Invisalign to bring it into place as needed.

Problem: Missing tooth

Fix: Implant

Were you in a bar fight? Even if you were—and even if you won—you probably get tired of answering this question. “Some people, their canine teeth didn’t come in as they grew up,” Jablow says. “Or there was an accident, they lost a tooth.” If there’s enough space, an implant can be created to fill the spot of the missing tooth. Costs are roughly double that of a crown, because you pay both for the implant’s anchoring post and the tooth-like sculpted part. Here, too, something like Invisalign can help the new addition get cozy with the nearby teeth.