By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Sep 24, 2007 at 5:22 AM

The latest big parenting decision is whether or not to close the space between my son's front teeth. This one's particularly tricky for me since I opted not to circumcise because it seemed unnecessary, yet I'm considering narrowing the gap in my kid's grill strictly for cosmetic reasons.

Friends reminded that plenty of successful people have spittin' gaps, including David Letterman, Madonna and supermodel Lauren Hutton. Unfortunately, Alfred E. Newman and jack-o-lanterns also come to my mind, neither of which have quite the right look for my little pumpkin head.

People have spaces between their teeth for a variety of reasons. In my son's case, the little piece of skin that attaches the inside of his lip to his teeth -- called the frenum -- is causing the teeth to push a part. The prolonged use of a pacifier didn't make the situation any better.

So, here we are, with a 4-year-old kid sporting an oversized frenum that's making a gap large enough to pass a Hot Wheel through. What's a parent to do? Make a major cosmetic decision without the child's consent? I'm definitely leaning towards this, but just to play the Devil's A-hole for a moment, what if I decided to do something else to altar his physical appearance, like piercing his face? Can you imagine the conversations at play dates?

One mother would ask, "Does Levi have his septum pierced?"

"Why yes," I'd say. "We thought we'd save the Prince Albert until he turns five."

Really, it boils down to what we find attractive in our society, and what we don't. Although spaces between teeth might work if they're sliver-thin and on the mug of a supermodel,  a regular person with a "window to the tonsils" might be judged as less intelligent, thanks to cultural stereotyping against "hillbillies." (Remind me to tell you the one about West Virginians and Halloween.)

The procedure to close the gap involves a quick snip of the frenum, which on the one hand, seems minor, but when I really think about cutting that sensitive piece of tissue, I start to feel a little oogie. And I start to consider that maybe the space is just a part of his face, much like the dimple in his chin or his Anime-large brown eyes.

Luckily it's not something we have to decide today -- we have a whole year to consider the dental procedure. In the meantime, my husband suggests looking on the bright side, like how deceased comedian Mitch Hedberg put a positive spin on cavities:

"I have a few cavities. I don't like to call them cavities. I like to call them 'places to put stuff.' "

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.