This weekend was episode four of Breaking Amish. During which the TLC reality show addressed what was shown in last week’s previews and also in episode two: Rebecca Byler having no teeth and the reason she’s toothless and wearing dentures at age 20.
It’s already been established that the show’s a sham: in addition to Kate Stoltzfus’ DUI arrest that was only addressed because it happened immediately prior to filming, Abe Schmucker and Rebecca have a baby together (a little girl with whom Rebecca allegedly got pregnant in 2010), Abe had an arrest for alcohol intoxication in public in 2008, Sabrina Burkholder (née Von High) got married in 2009, Jeremiah Raber pretended to get a tattoo on the show even though he reportedly already had the ink from years ago and Jeremiah also pretended not to know how to drive when he’s owned two cars before. Most of the cast had already left the community. And they’ve had social media profiles that disappeared when fans found out about them.
In this episode, though, one thing does appear to be true: Rebecca has no teeth anymore even though she did in photos from 2010 and also 2011. This episode of Breaking Amish addresses what happened to Rebecca’s teeth and why the 20-year-old (apparently) former-Amish had her teeth pulled.
When Rebecca went to the dentist, she said in the elevator, “So going to the dentist’s office is not exciting at all, I’m really nervous.”
It’s explained by Rebecca, “It’s very common for Amish people to have their teeth pulled at a young age.” She continues, “I had all my teeth pulled at 19. And now I have dentures and they hurt. Amish dentists are horrible.” She’s 20 now, she had had her teeth pulled one-year-ago, which explains why very recent photos feature what appear to be her real teeth (example: photo from 2011 compared to on the show in 2012).
She recalls the actual event: “Everybody sits in the living room, and he had the chair right there where he does it, and he’ll just grab a pair of pliers and yank it out. Most dentists try to get the them loose before you pull ‘em out, he just tries to yank ‘em. He had his hand right here on my forehead, pushing my head all the way back, back against the chair, and he was just yanking at it.”
Rebecca tells the “English” dentist in New York that she has dentures and they’re “really, really loose,” and “really thick” and she cannot eat with them. She explains, “I basically have to chop my food into bites where I can just swallow it because I can’t chew or anything.” She continues, “I feel really weird eating in front of other people… I usually get food and hide out to eat. I can actually eat better without ‘em in than I can with ‘em in.”
Rebecca tells the New York dentist, there are Amish dentists in the community, but “they actually were never trained to do anything and it was horrible… no training, no.” Rebecca explains, one guy’s jaw was broken by an untrained Amish dentist. But “It’s cheaper, it’s like $3-5 a tooth if you want them pulled instead of $100 a tooth so they’d rather subject their kids to that rather than have it done professionally and I never understood that… I never agreed with that,” says Rebecca who notes no one gets their teeth cleaned or regularly checked. “No, these dentists do nothing except pull your teeth.”
The New York dentist says: “I do a lot of work outside the United States, in third world countries, I do a lot of charity work, and these are things I see in these countries but I never thought… in the United States.”
What’s wrong with Rebecca’s mouth now? The dentist examines further and explains: “There are a couple of areas that are red, they look sore, red, it looks like you have a blister here, so you need a new pair of dentures… it’s gonna be $1,450 for the top and $1,450 for the bottom… so a little less than $3,000.” Which Rebecca doesn’t have, so she lies (the whole production lies) and says her family “shunned” her for leaving although that’s been established as untrue.
The dentist says, “the circumstances that she’s lived through are barbaric, having all her teeth removed at such a young age, that’s quality of life, being able to chew, being able to smile, especially a 20-year-old and she’s beautiful.” The dentist concedes, probably after being paid by TLC, “I’m gonna do something for you, I’m gonna make the dentures at no cost.”
Rebecca explains further: “Basically, the Amish, they… don’t do it to make anybody suffer. The Amish, the spiritual thing is a lot more important to them than the physical appearance.”
Included are photos from before and after the consultation and Rebecca holding her old dentures to the camera.