Have you ever sat in your dentist's chair and thought...I take care of my teeth, brush, floss, don't eat a ton of sugar. I've got this.
Your dentist gives you a “hmmm” and “mmmm” and you start thinking, he’s either really hungry or there might be something wrong in this oral cavity of mine. As he flips off the light and the chair takes you on the slow journey back to a normal seated position, he hits you with words that should never be uttered (to a woman my age as far as I’m concerned)…I believe you’re going to need braces to correct the problems you mentioned. Staring at his face, you formulate all necessary arguments: 1) Been there, done that. Have the bent, ripped up 20 year-old retainer to prove it.; 2) Um, you do know how old I am, right?; 3) Surely, you must be referring to one of my children and their little crooked, non-picket fence spaced teeth.
With a bit of an over-exaggerated laugh, he says, “No. I’m afraid my 40 years of experience says you need braces to correct your little crossbite.” I seriously don’t think I heard another single word he uttered as I sat and looked out the window at the ducks frolicking in the stream behind his office. Needless to say, my husband and children were no much help to my mental state. My husband insisting it would be fine as long as I invested in some neon outfits and some oversized hair scrunchies. (My hard limit was when he suggested I cut my hair into a style with bangs.) My daughter simply laughed and informed me that she had already been done with her braces wearing experience over a year.
That night as I was completing the “ready for bed ritual,” I looked at my teeth and tried to be objective. Would having straighter teeth boost my confidence when I smiled? Would I make sure to wear my retainer, after this set, for the rest of my life? If I could tell my younger self one thing, what would it be?
Well, I made the decision to have the braces put on my teeth six months ago. After having to avoid corn on the cob (I think I cried a little when I couldn’t eat it), popcorn, rice crispies and red wine for six months, my rule following self finally saw the payoff when they were removed last week.
Would I make the same decision again? Yes. It has been a confidence boost I didn’t know I needed. What would I say to my younger self if given the chance…It's never too late to make a change that makes you feel happy AND Build the highest tolerance to red wine possible because you’re going to have a forced dry spell in about 20 years AND have 3 kids AND a husband who travels. Good luck with that!
I have an affinity for stories that promise an escape from my own every day realities. Whether it's to avoid: a trip to the grocery store, a pile of dirty laundry, or the tenth round trip to my child's school, I carve out snippets of time (5, 10 or even, gasp! 30 minutes to myself) to escape into the pages of a book.