Thursday, January 15, 2009

Take A Cue From Me

The first thing I have always noticed about a person is their smile. Unless, of course, I'm being introduced to a hawt guy, then it's his butt.

[wink, wink]

I am forever envious of those with perfectly aligned teeth. Those who were blessed with gorgeous grins, whether achieved through DNA or the expertise of an Orthodontist, always make me aware of my own set of chompers.

You see, I have a less than stellar set of teeth. Believe it or not, my mouth is too small for them all. Yea, can you believe that? Okay, stop laughing.

The crowding in my mouth warranted braces when I was a teen. My parents didn't have dental insurance. And to save that kind of money, well, interfered with my father's social agenda. I mean, just compare the two; braces for his daughter or buying round after round of brewskies, weekly, for his drinking buddies. I seriously couldn't expect him to disappoint his friends, now could I?

I endured teasing, as you can imagine. My teeth protruded, for a while, so I was at the receiving end of all of the "bucktooth" jokes. I swear I semi-corrected my own overbite by making sure that I had my front teeth pulled in behind my lips at all times.

But the overbite wasn't the worst of it. My right Cuspid, or Canine tooth, grew in front of the others. I took on the nickname of "Snagletooth". Something like that, just does wonders for a teenage girl's confidence. The cruel remarks were made behind my back, which was fortunate for them, because they were free to live another day, but the comments always seemed to find a way to my ears. One way or another.

It stung.

When I was eighteen I saved the money I earned while working as a part-time receptionist. I went to our family dentist and demanded he extract my right Cuspid. It was all I could afford to do to help ease some of my pain. He was very upset that I wanted to pull a perfectly healthy tooth.

I didn't care.

He may not have understood. He may have been angry. But pulling that one tooth, restored a little bit of a young girl's self-esteem.

A few years ago I talked with my current dentist and asked his opinion about correcting my teeth. I didn't so much as want to for cosmetic reasons, as I pretty much have come to terms with my smile. It is something I happen to do quite a lot of, thank you very much.

But I was interested, because of some sinus issues I have, due to an extremely high palate. My dentist told me that because of my high palate, it would a very unpleasant experience. He continued to say that had the work been done when I was a teenager, it would have been easier. He did not recommend that I proceed at this point in my life.

Thanks again, dad, how's the liver holding up?

Not surprisingly, my children will probably all need braces. W. has already been through phase one. He had braces for about a year, which were placed on the adult teeth that he has so far. They were then removed and he now wears a retainer.

That is, he wears it when I practically shove it into place.

He frequently forgets to put it in his mouth after eating. It drives me batty. I really have to go find my freshman high school picture.

I bet THAT will make him more willing.


Kelley said...

I have a crooked front second tooth. I dunno what it is called, it is the one next to the front ones...


As a child I despised it. I WANTED braces. My parents were less than interested.

I have actually grown to accept my tooth and wouldn't get it fixed now.

But I am the same as you, always envious of those with perfect smiles.

Oh and just as I came to accept my tooth, I chipped off a little bit of my front one. Fabulous. Not.

Chris said...

When you said there was no room for your teeth, I totally thought of this commercial and LOLed. Not good at 6 in the morning when everyone's sleeping.

My teeth are all jacked up!! I remember when I was about 13, a dentist said "And she'll be a pretty girl when she grows up, except for her messed up teeth." Sometimes I want to find that guy and sue him for the damage he did to my self esteem.

My kids' teeth are coming in all wonky, too. The savings funds have been started because I don't want them to deal with the ridicule that you & I went through. Even at age 30, those comments still hurt.

The Fritz Facts said...

My husband is now dealing with something very similar to you, only a bit worse. His parents never took him to the dentist once he his age 11, NEVER. He never learned proper hygene and is now paying the price...or I am depending on how you look at it.

Hunter's mom is not dealing with his mouth very well either, and so I stepped in. Took him to the dentist right after thanksgiving where he had a "Come to Jesus" appointment. since then he is a diligent about keeping his teeth clean. On Tuesday we are getting the impressions done for his braces, again us taking him, so that by March the boy should have his braces on.

Patois said...

Thank goodness our priorities are slightly different when it comes to those crooked-toothed children we're raising, eh?

No orthodontics covered, of course, by our insurance. But you can bet the kids will have the braces.

Anonymous said...

Yep, living the "wish the folks had thought about getting me braces" dream, too.

2 out of 4 kids need braces and thank goodness the hubs new job includes dental at a great deal.

I'm hoping that the savings doesn't end up costing us bad customer service and really looooooong waits.

Such is life.

Anyhow, I'm also here to tell you that...CONGRATULATIONS...Mini-me has just announced your name:


Mrs4444 said...

Teeth are such a big part of your self esteem when you're growing up. I'm glad you've grown to love your smile :)

Midwest Mommy said...

wow, you really had a tooth pulled. I honestly can say I don't remember anyone at school ever getting made fun of for teeth. Picking nose, butt, greasy hair yes...teeth no! That stinks.

Karly said...

Oh, dude, my son is going to totally need braces. How old is W?

By the way "how's the liver holding up?" nearly made me pee my pants.

Stacey said...

My teeth are crooked and don't all fit in line and I have a huge overbite that I would love nothing more to fix. But this is probably the smile I'll always have. (I did braces. For four years. What a waste of my parents' money that turned out to be.)

EE said...

I always look at smiles first, too. I had an enormous overbite and was in braces and headgear for years.
The orthodontist used my case whenever he lectured, because it was so severe.
My dad still never lets me forget about the money that they spent on my teeth.

Leslie said...

I always notice a person's smile first, too. Perfectly aligned teeth aren't nearly as important as the sentiment of a real smile. There's nothing more attractive than a genuine smile. Except maybe a hawt guy's butt.

Bonnie the Boss said...

That must have been very difficult for you! I would use the pics. May be he will be better about it.

Baloney said...

I'm married to a dentist and my dad was a dentist. My braces were FREE! All four years of 'em.
I, too, notice smiles right away.
Sorry to hear your story. People are cruel. It's hard enough to be a teen.