created this journal and this website for any adult who is
considering braces. I just turned 42, and have been
considering braces for the past 10 years. Iíve probably gone
to at least a half-dozen orthodontists over these years. They
all told me the same thing: four teeth must be removed, I have
an open bite, and I must have full braces for two years. One
even told me I needed tongue thrust therapy (which sounds much
more erotic than Iím sure it actually is).
last orthodontist I saw, five years ago, wanted me to wear
head gear, and warned that my profile might change
dramatically. That was enough for me to chicken out, after
spending several hundred dollars on x-rays and molds. At the
time, my youngest daughter was an infant, and head gear was
out of the question. And change my profile?! Yowza, what would
that look like?!
husband of 16 years loves me no matter how crooked my teeth
are. Heís made this clear time and again. But, he pointed
out; Iíd look better with straight teeth. The fact that they
are crooked comes as a surprise to most of my friends and even
my relatives. The crookedest teeth are the bottom ones, which
I usually donít show when I smile (a camouflage maneuver I
learned from an early age). Theyíve gotten worse over the
past 10 years, which annoys me.
didnít I get braces as a child? Money: my parents didnít
have any. I also think my childhood dentist was lousy.
am I finally getting braces now? For one thing, Hubbyís new
job has a great orthodontic plan, which is extended to adults.
It would pay for almost half the cost (the total cost is
$4,800, and the plan pays $2,000). With so many companies
slimming down their benefits, Iím afraid that if I donít
take advantage now, it will just cost us more in the future.
Secondly, I really want to have straight teeth, for the first
time in my life.
let me tell you a little bit about myself. I live in
California and have two daughters. Iím a stay-at-home Mom
who also works part time on sporadic Technical Writing
contracts. In other words, I sometimes write software manuals
for companies, usually from home. I did that full-time on-site
before having my kids. But most of the time, Iím a Mom,
doing what us Moms do: lots of driving around, cleaning,
picking up, cooking, and kissing away my kidsí owies, trying
to find time to exercise, and pursue my hobbies (playing
guitar and writing).
wait, thereís more! Home improvement! After living in our
house for eight years, we have finally decided to make some
changes. Big changes. A remodeled kitchen (new countertops,
refaced cabinets, new stoves, new floor, new sink, new
fixtures), new windows in the entire house, new sliding patio
doors, a new front entry door, a new roof and gutters (the
current ones leak), a paint job and glass doors for the dowdy
fireplace, a paint job for the exterior of the house,
landscaping, upgraded automatic sprinkler system (the current
one is half-assed), re-do and improve my daughterís room,
make some minor improvements in our master bathroom, a little
paint here, a little wallpaper there, and maybe (if I can
convince Hubby), new carpet for the living room. And our one
luxury item: a hot tub (spa) for our deck. Iím sure there
are a few things Iíve left out, but you get the picture.
Lots of details and dust.
all that, plus working sometimes, plus all the Mom stuff. And
then add braces. Am I a glutton for punishment, or what?!
go into all this with more than a little trepidation, but a
great amount of determination. In the next two years, my home
will be improved, and so will my smile. As Hubby remarked, two
years will pass, whether I get braces or not.
didnít actually begin writing this journal on December 10,
2001. I started in January, 2002 and worked backwards for
about a month, then continued in the present. After all, what
would be the point of writing this if I decided NOT to get
braces? This journal will not include every miniscule detail
of my life: all the Brownie meetings, the birthday parties,
the schlepping. That would be way too tedious. Iím just
focusing on two things: braces and home improvement.
if you are like me, and have waited all these years to take
the plunge with braces, read this journal. I will be brutally
honest. If it hurts like hell, Iíll say so. If itís not so
bad, Iíll say so. But youíll get the truth -- or at least
my truth, anyway. Maybe it will help you make your own
decision. Hopefully my teeth will wind up straight, and my
contractors wonít screw anything up too badly (Oh, the
horror stories I hear from friends who have gone through home
you're new to braces, you may want to read Braces
101, which contains helpful information for
you want to read the journal from the beginning, click on this
2001-January 2002 link (or click on "Next Journal
Entry" in the bar below). It begins just two days after I
bought my new GE stoves from the appliance store. They are
going to replace a circa-1970 avocado green double electric
range (otherwise known as a ďhigh-lowĒ), which is quite an
eyesore, and which, God knows, Iíve put up with long enough.