Peace, Love and Straight Teeth–Yeah, Baby!

(note: you might want to go back and re-read the title as if you are an internationally known super-spy, aka Austin Powers)

So let’s talk about my braces some more. Or, hadn’t you noticed I like to talk about them? It stands to reason that the discomfort caused by the braces is one reason I keep mentioning them. But the other reason may surprise you: Braces have given me more self-confidence.

Before I had them put on, I imagined how I would look with a mouth full of metal and it made me shudder. In my mind, my braces would make me so ugly that I would not be able to open my mouth for two  years. But it would be worth it in the end, I hoped. I actually canceled my appointment twice before I finally got up the nerve to go through with it. And it was not because I was afraid of the pain. I was afraid of being hideous. (You know the song, “You’re So Vain” ?  Yeah. I probably think that song is about me.)

Eventually I gave in, and once I got past the part where I couldn’t laugh or smile without getting my lips caught on the brackets, something amazing happened. I started smiling all the time. I don’t think I even realized (other than looking at photos) that I haven’t been smiling for the past 4  years. I’ve been happy, but I’ve been afraid to smile, because then people would notice that my teeth were very, very crooked.

My teeth were never perfect, but when I look at photos from before my daughter’s birth, I can’t usually detect the flaw. It was minimal. But in photos taken only two years later, I look like Austin Powers. Blame it on hormones, or age, or whatever, but my teeth moved A LOT. I think at some point I just realized it was safer to not smile, and most definitely not at strangers, so I stopped.

Another added benefit of my braces is I think they make me look younger. Not 25 years younger (because then I’d be flat chested and play with Barbies), but at least 5-7 years younger. (Gasp–when did early 30s start seeming young?).

And so, all of a sudden, I’m making all kinds of new friends. And I’m being handed freelance work right and left.  And people are flirting with me. And I’ve been offered a role in a major motion picture. Honestly–except for that last part; I made that up–I’m not saying this to brag. I’m just amazed at how much a difference it makes to smile at people!

Are braces expensive? YES! But they have already paid for themselves several times over, and it’s only been one month. And  I have to wear these for at least 18 months.

Watch out world!

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