Three of my siblings had braces, but my teeth were just fine according to my parents, but when I entered a competition to win a “smile makeover” the consolation prize was a free consultation to check out how I could improve my smile. It turned out that while veneers would improve the appearance of my teeth, they wouldn’t be able to fix my “bite” or my crooked lower teeth and the dentist suggested I talk to an orthodontist, I appreciated his honesty at the time.
I went to the orthodontist fairly confident that if I did need braces it would only be for six months as my teeth were fairly straight. He however pointed out that my teeth were being ground down unevenly as they didn’t “fit together” in a normal bite, apparently I had an overbite like the boss guy Mr Burns from The Simpsons….aggh I had a closer look and yes I did, and how had I missed that! And the really bad news was that it would take at least two years of wearing braces to fix. I could hardly believe what I was hearing and at the time thought I would just let it go and stick with slightly wonky and worn down.
When I got home I thought about the investment of time and money and I worried then about what people would think, how embarrassing it would be and would people think I was that vain? Let alone my family making never ending jokes.
Then I took the plunge and I got my tin grin last year after my son turned one. I figured why not, it isn’t like we have much of a social life and I would try to get pregnant again so I could be fat and have ugly braces all in one hit.
The process involved having two perfectly fantastic looking teeth removed from either side of my smile, I looked worse than ever…then they fitted the braces, I had a mouth full of metal, two big gaps and I could hardly talk….then they began to hurt…a lot!
I opted for the ceramic braces thinking they would be less obvious, but they seem to stain, at which the orthodontist has recommended I avoid curries, red wine, coffee etc. so along with the no apples, carrots or sticky toffees, I have decided to stick with the slight discoloration.
Now eight months down the track I don’t “feel” them in my mouth and don’t even notice them so much in the mirror – (plenty of other imperfections to focus on) but I do get a hideous shock whenever I see a photo of me smiling, so am learning how to smirk instead, plus I still haven’t managed to get pregnant again…hurry up!
A woman the other day stopped me and congratulated me on having braces she had been through it too as an adult and said she never regretted it. Teenagers with braces look at me sideways and I love seeing other adults with them on too.
Although I have a good while before the braces come off, my teeth are very straight already, I just need to pull the back ones forward to fill those damn gaps…I just wish I had Tom Cruise’s budget and could afford to get them taken off for social events and then get them put back on again when it suited.
My husband told me he thinks they make me look younger, but then he kindly added “in that goofy teenage kind of way”.
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