April 1, 2012

Wonky No More

In sixth grade, I was given the option by my dentist to get braces. It was an option because my teeth didn't require them, but they also weren't straight. My response to this question was predictable. What sixth grader wants to get braces? Cool kids don't have braces. And even though I was far from being one of the cool kids, getting braces certainly wasn't going to get me any closer to being one of them. So I said no.

And then I regretted it.

While I hated the idea of braces, I also hated my teeth. I had a gap between my two front teeth that was pretty much the first thing I saw whenever I looked in the mirror. I hated it, and it made me self-conscious. It made me so self-conscious that for a brief period in 10th grade, I began trying to laugh with my mouth closed. I am pretty sure it accomplished nothing excepting making me look mildly unbalanced. I also used to after school, on occasion, take two markers and place them on the outer edges of each tooth. I'd then push in a futile effort to force my gap teeth together. Needless to say, doing this for a couple of minutes every once in a while didn't have the effect I had hoped. My gap remained.

And it has remained. I gradually grew to accept it and certainly stopped trying to laugh with my mouth closed. In the back of my mind though, I always wondered what if I had just said yes that day at the dentist. Over time as I thought about this, one of my rear teeth on the upper left side of my mouth started to rotate. It continued rotating to the point where I could feel it moving on given days. Before it knew it, not only did I have a visible gap on my top teeth, but also a rogue tooth that bugged the crap out of me. With a sound mind and the aid of medical insurance, I decided it was time to do something about it. I got Invisalign.

On April 12, 2011, I began the process of straightening my teeth. And just this past Friday, that process ended.
April 11, 2011
April 12, 2011
April 1, 2012
Having Invisalign wasn't easy. It took some getting used to, so much so that a week in I was questioning if I was letting my vanity get the best of me. A little less than a year later, I can 100 percent say that it was worth it. I used to think about my teeth and how much they bugged me on a daily basis. I'd run my tongue over my wonky back tooth and my gap and think what if. I no longer think about that. I also no longer have to worry about nonchalantly removing my Invisalign plastic teeth in public - something I have hated doing. So it's all good. So good, that I can't stop smiling my near perfect smile. If only sixth grade Amy had known how good it could be she would have done this years ago.

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