Confession: I’m at a point in my live where things are starting to look a little worn.
What? Not surprised? For the number of years I’ve lived, I think I’m in pretty good shape but let’s face it…I’m not 20 and you can just look at my body and tell.
I’m not looking for a pity party, I’m just telling you. Believe me, I wouldn’t want to be 20 again. All right, that’s a lie – I’d take 20 again but with my current life experience. All right, fine – I’d just take 20 any way you give it to me!
Lots of my friends are getting boob jobs. After a few kids those perky friends need a pick-me up and mine are no different.
Here’s the problem though, I had another area that was demanding more attention – my mouth. Now, my teeth weren’t a huge problem – some of my “defects” could be seen as charming but it bugged me. It bugged me much worse then my boobs.
The biggest problem was my one front tooth, which was getting pushed out a bit because the other teeth were crowded up on it or I guess more under it. It started a long time ago but with each year it was getting a tiny bit worse. So bad, that at night when I was trying to sleep I felt like I couldn’t close my mouth over it. Okay, sometimes I’m a bit dramatic. But it bothered me and I knew it would only get worse.
I went to the orthodontist to discuss it. Her reaction was, “Who cares about that top tooth, have you seen the bottom ones? They are completely overcrowded.”
Well then, there you have it. It wasn’t a hard decision really. My teeth bothered me much more than my breasts. Besides, I figured I’d save getting the boob job for when I’m in my fifties…they are going to look spectacular.
Lots of people get Invisalign now, which is cool. For me, it wouldn’t have worked. Why? The main reason, and really only reason; if I could take it off, I would.
Too much discomfort, off. A big dinner, off. A special event, off. Meeting new people, off. Seeing old friends, off. Watching TV, off. You get my point.
So, I started the braces process. Yes, I say, process!
When I got them on, it was – horrible! I complained ALL the time. I’m not being overly dramatic here. I’m serious. I complained. I felt bad for my family having to listen but I felt worse for me, so I kept complaining.
I had to relearn how to brush my teeth and relearn how to floss. In the beginning I would only eat soft things. I wouldn’t eat anything I had to actually bite. I did lose a few pounds actually – just about the only benefit.
If I thought I couldn’t close my mouth before – I had no idea. Now, I really couldn’t close my mouth. I had to make an effort to get my lips over my teeth. Enough detail? It was terrible. I think you got it.
Only Kids Should Get Braces
Here’s my philosophy on why only kids should get braces…first, they aren’t used to how their teeth feel in their mouth. I mean, not so long ago they didn’t even have teeth. Then they had teeth falling out all over the place. And, new teeth coming in. Their mouths are a mess. Things are shifting and have been shifting for the majority of their time on earth. When they get braces, it’s just more shifting. Not a big deal.
The second part of this ground-breaking philosophy is when kids complain, we can tell them to be quiet and quit complaining. They can still whine a bit but when it gets them nowhere, they usually stop. Not me and probably not most adults. I know nobody’s changing it but nobody can tell me to be quiet. I guess they could – but I don’t have to listen. I can just keep complaining. I’m not saying it’s right – I’m saying it is…
My orthodontist first told me I’d have to wear the braces for 20 months. My progress was coming along nicely though and she shortened it to 18 months. Then I really pressed and I was able to get them off in 14 months!
Yes, 14 months! That was six months early. Oh boy, was I happy!!
On the morning of my “de-bonding” appointment, I considered camping out outside of the office but I held back and went at my scheduled time. Okay, I went 30 minutes early. It was amazing to lick my teeth again. I’m serious – you don’t realize how often you actually lick your teeth and you certainly don’t realize how much you’d miss it if you couldn’t do it.
Here’s my five tips for a happy braces experience:
- Keep all your appointments – don’t delay, clear your schedule. Try to even schedule a few days or a week early when possible.
- Take good care of your teeth – brush always. I used to brush after I ate anything thing. Floss (even though it’s hard). Use the tools available to you (electric toothbrush, little cleaners, etc.)
- Think straight – you may not buy this one but hey, who got their braces off six months early? Think about your teeth aligning how they should, I swear it helps.
- Remember where you started – they gave me the mold of my “before” teeth when I left after getting my braces on…I looked at those molds often. It helped me see the progress I’d made so far and reminded me what I was fixing.
- Communicate with the doctor – ask questions, find out why they are doing things, if things don’t seem right, ask them about it…it helps keep you both on target with the final results.
Here’s some pictures showing me before, during, and after.
This was about six years ago. It’s already a big problem.
This was two years ago.
About four months in.
About six months in.
About nine months in.
Not a great picture but this is the day after getting them off.
Ta da! 🙂
I’m not done yet. Right now, I’m in the retainer phase. But, it’s been so worth it. I love how my new teeth look and I’m glad I went with the braces. In another 10 or so years, I’ll let you know how the boob job goes…wait until you see those “before” and “after” shots!