This might be the most expensive diet I’ve ever been on.
This week, I got braces. As a 31-year-old. Who’s getting married in nine months.
And for the past four days, I’ve eaten nothing but yogurt, soup, string cheese and Ibuprofen, while it feels like someone kicked me in the mouth.
But in 18 months, I will have gorgeously straight teeth.
To back up a little, I’ve always disliked my teeth for their crooked nature. Growing up, they weren’t that bad, but as I’ve gotten older, they’ve shifted, and a few have turned and twisted in undesirable directions.
Most people I’ve talked to said they don’t notice it or that my teeth aren’t even that bad, but to me, it’s that one thing I always see when I look at pictures, and that wasn’t what I wanted to focus on while later looking at my wedding photos.
I had looked into braces in the past, but for whatever reason, the majority of insurance companies will only cover orthodontics before 15 years old. How unfair is that? Straight teeth are a worthwhile investment at any age.
According to Dr. Daniel Fishel at F&S Orthodontics, crooked and misaligned teeth cause problems in the future because it’s more likely that you will develop cavities and decay in teeth that overlap or in areas that are hard to keep clean. Crooked teeth also are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, such as gun recession and bone loss between the teeth, and premature tooth wear and chipped teeth. Periodontal disease can even increase the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (hardening of the arteries).
Finally, my dental insurance added coverage for adults! But now I don’t have an infinite amount of time to straighten my teeth since I’m getting married in OCTOBER.
While at the bridal show at York Expo Center in January, there was a booth from a local orthodontist, which reinvigorated my desire to have straight teeth. After talking to several orthodontists from the area, I decided to go ahead with it. I had clear brackets put on my top teeth and metal on the bottom. Because my top teeth overlap my bottom thanks to my small overbite, the orthodontists said metal would be less wear and tear on my top teeth where they touch the lower brackets.
They also told me they could take them off for the wedding! Of course I’d only be about halfway through my 18 months of treatment, so I’ll have to put them back on when I get back from my honeymoon, but they said the most movement will occur in the first nine months. After that, it’s smaller changes, so I should see a huge difference between now and my wedding.
As an adult, and only four days in, it’s not the end of the world, but my self-confidence has definitely taken a hit. I feel silly that I can’t eat a simple cookie without injuring myself or making a mess. Last night I ate some spaghetti and tried to get out all of the bits and pieces with my tongue, but when I looked in the mirror, I actually had entire noodles still stuck in my braces. It’s also had some impact on my ability to speak normally, and while it’s not drastic, it’s something I’m self-conscious about. Especially my “esses” and “v’s.”
I’m working on putting together a few dental kits to keep in my purse and at work to keep everything clean and food free. They will consist of a toothbrush, toothpaste, wax, some soft picks, and a mirror. Here is a pre-made one by GUM. And I can’t speak highly enough about my Sonicare toothbrush. Even if you don’t have/aren’t going to get braces, this baby is amazing. It’s like going to the dentist every morning and night! It also helps decrease tooth sensitivity.
While I know most of you probably went through this when you were 13 or 14, you can probably feel my pain, but if you’re an adult and contemplating braces, I think it’s worth a shot. The clear brackets are barely visible from far away, and they’re still not that noticeable close-up. I don’t have any funky-colored bands or headgear, and other than keeping everything clean, I should be back to eating somewhat normal foods in another week or so.
It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but I keep thinking about how worth it it will be in my wedding photos and finally in August 2014 when I have the smile I’ve wanted since high school. Meanwhile, eat a hamburger for me.
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