When I first thought about getting braces – again, in my 40’s – a lot of people thought I was crazy.
“But your teeth are straight!” they’d say.
“Didn’t you already have braces?” they’d (correctly) state.
“You’re seriously going to spend $$ on a few wonky teeth?” they’d question.
Well yes, yes I am.
Let me rewind. As an adolescent, I needed braces – badly. My teeth were crowded, I had an extreme overbite, and one tooth (sadly, in the front) was positioned at an unfortunate angle. However, my immigrant parents didn’t really see the need (nor have the money) for orthodontic treatment, so braces were put off until I could pay for a portion myself. This didn’t happen until I was 19 years old – one month before entering university.
Nothing like being a freshman with a mouth full of metal, eh?
Truthfully, I loved it. I had been insecure about my smile for so long; just the thought of having beautiful, straight teeth was enough to keep me euphoric about the experience in its entirety. And, when the braces did come off, this then 21-and-a-half year old felt like a million bucks. Nah – a TRILLION bucks. I had a permanent retainer attached behind my bottom teeth, and a removable retainer was created for my top teeth.
Spoiler alert: I didn’t wear my retainer. Maybe for the first two weeks… and then, NEVER.
It was my mid-thirties, about 15 years after orthodontic treatment, when I first noticed the gradual shifting in my top teeth. I was at a social media conference where they were offering free head shots, and of course I jumped at the opportunity. However, when the photo was sent to my phone, the only thing I noticed was that my front tooth – the tooth that previously lived at an unfortunate angle – had begun its pilgrimage back home.
Can you see it? Perhaps I should ask, if I hadn’t pointed it out, would you have seen it?
It bothered me… enough to raise my concerns with my husband. He scoffed; it was one tooth, barely noticeable. Hardly a reason to spend thousands of dollars for braces! It was a hard no from him. Wanting to believe he was right – it wasn’t THAT bad – I dropped the subject. …