Judy from Pennsylvania
Like all your other stories,
I too had considered braces for years. When I was 13, our
family dentist told my mother I needed braces to correct my
rather significant overbite and several fairly crooked
teeth. And she told me, "We can get you braces or we can
send your older sister to college. We're going to send your
older sister to college. Try pushing your teeth back while
you watch TV."
Of course, that didn't happen.
So for much of my life I have daydreamed about getting braces,
or accidentally getting hit in the mouth, losing my front fangs,
and being forced to get braces paid for by my insurance, without
having to really make a decision. Which, of course, didn't
Then I started feeling like I
could no longer fit my lips around my front teeth. They would
dry out when I talk. I ended up with my second root canal and
then an abscessed tooth that had to come out. My dentist had
told me for years I should get braces. Now he told me that it
wasn't my imagination that my teeth were protruding even more,
that overbites often get worse as we get older. Plus he said I'd
probably lose a few more teeth over the years because the
crowding made them impossible to keep clean. So, I did it.
Its been 10 days. If I had had
any idea how painful, how embarrassing and how little I could
comfortably eat during this early stage, I never would have done
it. It feels like my teeth are in prison. Now I really can't fit
my lips around them. I bite the inside of one cheek, making it
impossible to chew food, even if I dared. I've have two canker
sores already.I drool. I know I've had bad breath because my
dear friend was honest enough to tell me. I spend an inordinate
amount of time cleaning my teeth. I have a lisp now and then.
I'm baffled by why they don't give you anti-depressants along
with the wax.
And the one thought that has
been going through my mind is, WHAT WAS I THINKING? I'm 57 years
old. I work in public relations and a mouth full of metal isn't
the kind of packaging we strive for. Of course the clear plastic
on the top helps, but its NOT INVISIBLE like they told me it
would be, and not as unnoticeable as not-so-close friends say it
is. 'And it really doesn't help when they tell you they thought
your teeth looked just fine. Or, ask, "did you do it for purely
cosmetic reasons?" "No, I did it because I'm a narcissistic
moron." (I didn't say that, I'm actually a pretty nice person, I
just feel comfortable saying it in here).
At any rate... other adult
friends who went through this tell me it will get better, and it
has already. They tell me I will be so glad I did it, and I keep
that thought in the forefront of my mind. And last night, I
summoned up my courage and went through with a speech I had
previously committed to, before an audience of over 100 people,
braces and all, and got great feedback. It was to raise money
for a good cause, and we did well. So, I guess if I can do that
now, I'll be OK for the next 538 days. That will bring me to
April Fools Day, and I sure hope that day's designation has
absolutely nothing to do with my teeth.
Thanks for putting all this out
there, and for all the fellow inmates' stories. They really made
me feel so much better, especially the ones that mention how
hard it was and how much easier it became. I'll do one of those
soon, I'm sure. I hope. Surely. Positive thinking. I promise.