When I started the journey of new teeth, they looked like this (right). I know they were not “that” bad and had it not been for my husband suggesting that I get braces (at 30) I never would have done it. His reasons had noting to do with mine but in a way got to the heart of it.
He said he noticed that when I used to laugh I would cover my mouth. He asked it that was because I was embarrassed by my teeth. I had been doing it so long that it took him noticing to help me see I had been unhappy with my teeth.
I can not tell you how much my high school students ( I was teaching at the time) loved that I was getting braces. They regaled me with stories of pain and sadistic orthodontists but the honest ones said it sucked but was totally do-able.
Fortunately I was blessed to find a wonderful orthodontist named Dr. Beksih. I can honestly say that it was a pleasure to be his patient and I would definitely take any child I had to him if I still lived in he area or had an adult friend who was thinking about getting braces. One illustration: I saw a young man, maybe 14 or so seemingly wandering out of his chair and through the treatment room. One of the assistants noticed that I was watching him and told me that he had autism and Dr. Bekish let him get up periodically to help manage his anxiety. I knew then that if he would take on a special case like that, that he was the kind of doctor that I was looking for.
Back to the teeth. It is hard to say what was the “most” painful or difficult part. I am the kind of person who lets things get forgotten once they are over and that is what most of my experience with braces was like. Brief moments of discomfort and pain but mostly do-able as my students said.
That is not to imply that I didn’t have to do soft foods for a time or take pain meds, I did but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t bad.
My original diagnosis was two years of treatment for a misaligned bite and crooked teeth. I fortunately did not have an over or under bite or have to have teeth pulled. I chose to go with the metal brackets because he would have had to pull teeth to do the clear ones and that did not make sense to me, I’m just not that vain.
From the beginning I was working the positive thoughts on my braces, affirming that they would come off sooner than expected and that my treatment would go easy. After the first three months my doctor started making comments like “wow, I can’t believe you’ve only had those on for 3 months, it’s like your teeth wanted to move.”
I got my braces off this week after eleven months of treatment = less than a year. This is definitely in part to having a great doctor but also shows the power of positive thought and intention. Now I have a whole new set of things to do. Like my retainers.
I kinda feel like an old lady when I wash them in mouth wash and scrub them with my tooth-brush but what else is there to do? Can’t leave them all funky. All I have left to do is wear the top one all the time for six months and both at night. Then the top at night for the rest of my life, if I want my teeth to stay where they are. I have a permanent retainer in the bottom so the front six teeth can’t move.
1-I am worth it. I am worth the money, time and commitment to be healthy and happy with my self and my smile.
2-There is no substitute for your own desire and dedication to making any process the best and most positive it can be. What you think and feel about it really does matter and can make it easy or hard.
4-It may not always be something as big a teeth but it is worth the time to figure out how to love ourselves more and be good to our bodies and minds.
I am so happy that my husband encouraged me to do this for myself. I don’t think braces changed who I am as person or that I will be more beautiful or attractive because of it but I do know that when I hear something really funny and laugh out loud I won’t cover my smile any more.
So if your young and hating your braces, know that one day they’ll be off and I know that you’ll be glad you didn’t have to pay for them. If your older like me, I know the cost is daunting but think about the little things that might change if you loved you a little more instead of hiding a part of yourself.