Smile (Blogust Day 7)

Just thought I’d start this post off with a Buddy the Elf picture that goes along with today’s theme:
Today I have another post inspired by the whole Facebook Memories thing. This morning it showed me a post from two years ago where I talked about getting the braces off… my teeth. Just thought I’d distinguish that because I wear braces on my legs too. I can’t believe that it’s been two years! It seems like it was yesterday, or at least not that long ago. My entire life, I always had pretty crooked, spaced out teeth; it was a huge insecurity of mine. I went to several orthodontists over the years and nothing really ever came of it. I was pretty nervous about the whole process mainly because I didn’t know if my teeth or jaw were strong enough to handle it. But about five years ago I decided that I wanted to get serious about getting braces because I was 20 and wanted work on being more confident, especially because I was thinking about when I would be entering the working world. Now there’s nothing wrong with having crooked teeth or anything like that, it’s not about outward appearances. But for me it was a huge deal, not only for confidence reasons but also because none of my teeth lined up and they were wearing in the wrong places and were a contributing factor to my headaches. It took about another year for me to build up the courage to go through with it. One cool thing about the whole process was that my uncle got braces a few months before I did, so there was someone else in the same boat.

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” Phyllis Diller

The day that I got them put on I was so nervous, but it ended up not hurting at all. They pretty much just glue the brackets onto your teeth and then connect them with a wire. There was some discomfort for the next few days and my mouth got pretty torn up from the wires. But after about a week, I was able to eat most everything again and I felt pretty good. It’s a weird feeling having so much metal in your mouth, and that never really went away throughout the entire process. Every 6 weeks I went back and they tightened the wire and replaced the elastics on the brackets. Every 4-6 months, they replaced the wire with stronger, thicker wire. The pain did get pretty uncomfortable at times, especially when they switched to thicker wire, but I knew it would be worth it. They told me to take Advil before my appointments, so that’s what I started doing, and it was a miracle worker at keeping the pain at bay while they worked on me. After 24 months and about a million tubes of toothpaste (you have to brush every time you eat/drink anything other than water) later, it was finally time to get them taken off! After all that time and all the waiting and pain and brushing, it literally took two minutes for them to take them off. They just clipped around my mouth with this plier-looking tool and off they popped in one piece. Then it took about an hour with a sander-type tool to scrape all the glue off.
The aftermath of getting my braces off. P.S. I did not keep them.
I remember writing a blog post about all of this right after I got them taken off but I can’t remember which one it was. But anyway, here I am two years later and I am so happy with the results. It’s a huge change from where I used to be; eating is a completely different experience, and I do feel more confident. Smiles are powerful. Even when you aren’t feeling happy, just the act of smiling, especially at another person is a great mood lifter. Think of all the times that someone smiled at you, and how good it made you feel, even if it was just for a moment. A smile is a great way to connect to people, again, even if just for a second. When you love your smile, it makes all the difference in how you carry yourself. For me, the whole process was totally worth it.

That’s all for this one. Thank you so much for reading!

Until Next Time,
Kirsten 🙂
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