As a human biologist the most obvious approach that I find most useful is the biological approach. Not only has the majority of my study and practice been in the direction of this approach, but my daily life helps me understand how a persons genetic predisposition for a dental problems is just that, genetic. Many of my patients who struggle to maintain optimal oral health are not those who eat sugary-sticky tooth unfriendly foods or drink soda regularly. Most of them follow proper brushing and cleaning techniques, and still they have reoccurring dental problems with only their genes to blame. The difference between illness and disease is that fact that someone can have a disease until they pass away and never know, until it is diagnosed it is not an illness, it may be treated or untreated.
While reading the article I was quick to notice after the reference to the cherry tree that Miner was talking about America. The cherry tree holds only one symbolic meaning and that is of George Washington. The “holy mouth man”, who’s job is to magical materials in the holes from decay, using instruments to perform exorcism on evils in their teeth. Working in the dental field and reading this made me laugh, the fact that Miner is able to recognize that people return to the dentist because their teeth continue to decay. Again because of a clients genes they may have to return to the dentist more often even though they use proper caution. Today many people not only have a predisposition of poor oral health but with the addition of sugary drinks and candy to the diet it only add to the rising numbers of dental problems. A daily ritual that was performed by men that involved “scraping and lacerating” the face with a sharp tool could look outrageous to some cultures. A clean cut is not something that is desirable in all cultures. The need to have a perfect image is a factor in America’s mental health problem. The constant need to improve or to maintain beauty is one that is not shared by all cultures. Some cultures believe in not shaving with the idea of being able to grow a beard to symbolizes wisdom and power.