i got braces
Most people get braces in middle school or high school. It’s part of why they’re considered most people’s “awkward years.” Considering I lead a pretty awkward life, I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised when I got braces way after everybody else did.
Throughout my entire life, I’d been complimented on my smile. When my brother got braces when he was 13, my parents made an orthodontist appointment for me, too, just to see if everything was cool. It was: the orthodontist told me at the time (I was about 9) that I’d never need braces. This brought me joy, because I really like candy. I went about my business for another ten years — a decade, people — not worrying about it.
That is, until I went in for a routine cleaning. My dentist, who I’d been going to and getting X-rayed by for at least five years at the time, asked if I had any concerns. I told him I noticed some sensitivity near my front teeth, so he took some more X-rays, and his feedback was devastating.
Apparently my dentist never noticed that I still had a baby tooth, and as a result, the canine that was supposed to come in its place became “impacted,” meaning it never came down and was just chillin’ out inside my gum. The problem was made even worse by my wisdom teeth–once they came in, the adult tooth didn’t have enough room to emerge, so everything had to be moved over to make room for it.
A problem that most people resolve in junior high was being dealt with entering my junior year of college. Even I don’t procrastinate that much, even when 30 Rock is on.
I went through the typical stages of grief. First came denial: He’s a crock! I’ll get Invisalign! Pain and guilt set in next, once I got them on. A lot of pain at first, which wore off over time. Then came anger: My dentist is an incompetent douchebag! I’ll never get laid now! Depression came next: I didn’t want to leave the house because I was paranoid about getting food stuck in my teeth and self-conscious of the fact that I looked like an overdeveloped 12-year-old. I went out less between 20 and 22 than before I did when I couldn’t even drive.
Then things started to suck a little less once the reconstruction phase hit. I figured I’d distract from my metal mouth: I dyed my hair, I worked out, I mastered a smoky eye to draw attention away from my mouth. Acceptance and hope were the final phase, in which I didn’t necessarily get over it, but saw the silver lining (besides the one holding together my brackets): I was eating healthier by default. I’d look extra hot when it was all over. I was preventing bigger problems from arising later. I knew a lot of people who needed braces but couldn’t afford them, so I was thankful. Because I went out less, my grades improved and I got 4.0s in my major. All that, and I could tell creepy guys that I was underage to get them to leave me alone.
The kicker? Once I got them off, a lot of people didn’t even notice — because they never really paid attention to them in the first place. I got worked up over nothing!
Even though I had to stay away from caramel for two years, I’d say it was still a pretty sweet deal.
Have you had braces or do you have them now? Tell me about them in the comments!
i got braces