I begged my mother to fix my teeth for years, but growing up on welfare and food stamps meant dental work was just out of the question.
I remember one time when I was 16, my father had sent my mom $3,000 as a down payment for braces after my non-stop nagging phone calls where I would cry hysterically, saying things like “I’ll never find a man to love me with messed up teeth” or “I’ll die alone and you’ll have to take care of me and pay my bills forever and it’s all your fault.”
Hey, whatever I had to do to make it happen.
Too bad my mother didn’t buy the little psychological game I had won with my father; she took that money and used it to pay off some of her bills instead, leaving me utterly pissed off.
Now, at 23, out of Alaska and into the city of angels (I LOVE LA!), I landed my first big-girl job working in TV. I told myself, “Pick one, Sass, tits or teeth.”
I picked teeth.
As a teenager, I had made a promise to myself that once I started a real grown-up job, I would finally get braces, since no one in my family seemed to care about the situation going on in my mouth as much as I did.
Granted, I am a drama queen and a bit of a perfectionist, so my teeth weren't THAT BAD; but still, I was self-conscious about it to the point that it would make me cry and affect my self-esteem. For the most part, my teeth were straight; I just had the crazy fang teeth that stuck out and made me look part vampire. I just wanted to be able to take cute pictures with my girlfriends without feeling like wanting to die all the time.
So, I had my braces put on March 21st. My sentence? One year.
ONE YEAR! HOLY JESUS. Goodbye gum, guys and dignity.
Naturally, I opted for the clear ones. I wasn’t a candidate for Invisalign. (Dammit!)
So when you get braces as an adult there are a few things that will probably suffer a little.
Who wants their pubes ripped out with this crazy contraption in my mouth? My best friend said I should invest in a hockey mouth guard to keep it in my purse at all times. I still haven’t quite figured out how to eat with these suckers, so feeling comfortable on a date doesn’t seem to be like something I could handle at this very moment.
I already get told on a regular basis that I look 18. Add metal mouth, and now I feel like I should be wearing diapers and taking afternoon naps!
This is by far the worst part of this whole ordeal for me. I’ve been a nail biter all my life and the fact that I can no longer chomp on all my fingers feels very much like a sick torture game. I’m such a control freak, and not being able to bite my nails at all for the next 11 months or so is not helping my Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
It’s already hard enough having an adjective as a name (thanks again, Mom!), but then there’s the fact that I have three, count ‘em, THREE S’s in my name. I’m being set up for ridicule every time I try to order my soy latte every morning at Starbucks.
I used to be the floss police when it came to my teeth, but now it feels way more like a chore. Flossing was weirdly such a turn-on to me, but with these clear brackets and the additional 30 minutes it takes to floss… I’d rather take a paper cut to my eyes.
But in all honesty, now that I have the braces on my teeth, the amount of shame and embarrassment I feel is actually far less than I had originally anticipated. I was sure I’d look hideous and want to drive my car off a cliff, but none of these feelings have emerged. (Maybe thanks to my new therapist? Hiiiii Dr. Rebecca!)
Now that I've started my journey to a new me, I could not be more happy about the decision I’ve made. I took the next day off work after I had my braces put on, not because of the pain (although, yes, it does hurt for a little bit, but you'll get used to it), but more as a mental health day for my head. I cried like a baby after I got home from the orthodontist because it felt like this day would never come.
Did you get braces older than they’re usually done? Would you consider it? Should I have gone with the boobs instead?