Its been seven months nineteen days since I got braces. For the past six years I’ve wanted straight teeth. I don’t particularly like photos of myself but I really disliked seeing my crooked teeth in photos but I also didn’t want to get braces because they aren’t pretty either. I was hoping for a miracle fix but one never came. So it took six whole years to convince myself that having braces as an adult wouldn’t really be that bad. If there is one thing I’m sure of nearly eight months later is that… my pain threshold is stronger!
Before I even got to the braces part, I had to have four teeth including a baby tooth pulled out. This was done over two appointments. My palms have never been sweaty like they did while I was lying in that dentist chair. I tried visualizing me waiting in a hammock on a deserted beach. Nothing but blue skies, crystal waters and hot sand. The visualization was going great I was now relaxed and even calm, I could hear the sound of the ocean until I heard the dentist say “I’m going to start pulling now” and just like that it all went to shit.
Not one person I knew who had braces as a kid liked having braces and I soon learnt why. There is nothing pleasant about having braces. You loose your freedom to eat whatever you want, your in pain four weeks out of five and than your back at the orthodontist again for the next round, the only time I don’t have food stuck in my teeth is when I haven’t eaten, when I don’t have cuts I have ulcers and everyone feels the need to ask me “How long do you have to wear them for?”. I hate, hate this question because I don’t have a due date it’s not like being pregnant when you know that the baby will be coming out in nine months. It’s possible I could have them on for longer I know a few people where this is the case. I could have braces for two and a half years if my teeth haven’t aligned, I don’t think I could bear an extra six months so I occasionally have a word with my teeth and tell them that if they all move into place quickly I won’t pull anymore of them out.
It has recently become easier living with braces and I put it down to a few things; acceptance, tolerance and perspective. I now accept the reflection that stares back at me when I look at myself in the mirror. Metal in your mouth isn’t pretty but it’s not forever and I have to remind myself of this when I’m having a bad day. Sometimes I will stare at my teeth looking at just how far they have come already. Tolerance what can I say, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I’ve learnt to put up with the pain for the majority and the rest of the time everyone else has to learn to put up with my whinging. Perspective came to me just last week while I was having lunch. Having braces isn’t any harder than going to a job you don’t like everyday, paying bills or trying to lose weight.
So readers have any of you had braces? Or had any perspective lately?